Derby the husky cross wasn’t born like other dogs. A congenital deformity caused him to be born with no front paws, and small, twisted forelegs. They basically look like T. rex arms, and unfortunately for Derby, were just as useless.
But, as fate would have it, Derby happened to be adopted by Tara Anderson, who works for a 3D printing company called 3D Systems, and teamed up with animal orthotist, Derrick Campana. Orthotists work with both people and animals who have lost their limbs, or were born with deformities that make movement difficult.
"We're using a variety of 3D technologies, and that allows us to get in there and really modify the organic digital models quickly and easily, and start to do the sort of designs that Derrick wants us to do," one of the team, Kevin Atkins from 3D systems says in the video above.
The team scanned Derby’s front legs and built custom prosthestic ‘arms’ for him within hours, each from a single mould. The prosthetics - which look sort of like half-wheels - incorporate rubber treads to soften the impact when Derby is running, rigid spokes, and straps that hold them in place on his body.
Believe it or not, Derby is able to run almost 5 km a day using his prosthetic legs. “This is what 3D printing is about,” Anderson told Jeff Parsons at The Mirror. “To be able to help anybody; a dog, person, whoever, to have a better life, there is no better thing to be involved in.”
Source: The Mirror