About three months ago, a project management director at a large 3D design and printing company took a dog into foster care. His name was Derby, and he was born with deformed front legs. Lucky for Derby, Tara Anderson decided to use her job to help him.
This came after she tried using a cart —basically an apparatus that attaches to the front of the dog, with wheels—and found that it limited Derby’s mobility and ability to play with other dogs, Anderson says in the video, released by 3D systems.
So she worked with engineers to develop prosthetics that Derby could wear and run in. Prosthetics for animals are not a new idea, and 3D-printed prosthetics have been reported on, but they have mostly been used for human veterans and amputees.
3D-printing the prosthetic is faster and easier to modify than it would be to hand-sculpt the prosthetic, Derrick Campana, an orthotist from Animal Ortho Care, says in the video. The loops allow Derby to run without the prosthetics digging into the ground, and now Derby runs two to three miles a day easily, his adopted owners say in the video.