Once again, 3D-printed prosthetics have helped out a particularly cute pet.
Derby was born without his front paws and small forelegs. As his first owners were unable to provide him with the care he required, Derby was given to Peace and Paws dog rescue in New Hampshire. With a stroke of luck, he was spotted by Tara Anderson who works for 3D Systems as Director of Product Management.
The process of getting Derby back on all fours started in 2014, when he was given a preliminary set of prosthetic legs. This first set of legs were intentionally low to the ground, so that Derby could get used to the transition of walking with a fully straight back.
Designing these new updated “blades” for Derby took many attempts and redesigns. The final design was fashioned out of nylon using a 3D printing process called Selective Laser Sintering. This technique uses heat from a high-power laser to fuse together particles to create a three-dimensional form. Anderson said they settled on using nylon as it closely mimicked the flexible properties you would find in a natural knee.
Thanks to both this technology and unique design, Derby is now walking comfortably and happily, as you can see in the video below.
You can follow Derby on Facebook for other media about him and updates on his new life with his owner, Sherri Portanova.