The popularity of 3D printing has exploded in recent years, and one of the most innovative uses for this technology has been that of prosthetics—for people and animals alike. We’ve seen prosthetic limbs for ducks, and now a pair of 3D-printed legs is allowing a very special dog named Derby to run for the very first time in his life. Born with disfigured front legs, Derby has only been able to get around with the help of a cart purchased by his adoptive family, but now, with the help of a team of 3D engineers and veterinarians, Derby is able to run.
Derby was measured and his front legs were rendered in 3D, allowing the engineering team to design prostheses that would be comfortable to wear, while also allowing him the most natural, free range of movement. Being able to literally print these limbs from computer files is a lot faster and more efficient than traditional prostheses production, which involved creating moulds and sculpting each limb several times over until it was perfected. The result? The first time Derby got to try out his new legs, he took off running, elated at the freedom of movement that he’d never experienced before. This sweet boy now gets to run several miles a day, and the joy he expresses in being able to do so is nothing short of contagious.
via Make Magazine