Meet Tumbles. Thanks to the use of 3D-printing, this very lucky little puppy is able to walk again.
The puppy was taken to the Friends of the Shelter Dogs (FOSD) in Athens, Ohio, when he was just 2 weeks old. The 0.7-kilogram (1.5-pound) terrier mix was born without his front legs. His disability left him struggling to compete for milk from his mother, so staff at the shelter had to provide him with extra care and bottle-feed him.
A couple came across a photo of Tumbles on the shelter’s Facebook page. With their hearts well and truly melted, they decided to work with the shelter to create a wheelchair to get him back onto his feet. After putting a design together, the pair contacted the Ohio University Innovation Center to ask for their expertise and 3D printer to create the device.
Joe Jollick, lab director of the Innovation Center, explained that the 3D printer took 14 hours to construct Tumble’s new ride.
He told ABC News, "Everyone is real enthusiastic. Our main goal [was] to get him off the ground. The second thing is to get him used to it."
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, FOSD board President Angela Marx said, “He’s a little sweetheart and doesn’t act as if he has any limitations.“
As you can see in the video below, Tumbles is still getting used to his new wheelchair. However, the shelter is optimistic about his progress. He’s been fully embraced by his foster mother who (quite understandably) is besotted with him.
Marx added, “Since he is so little and still growing he needs to learn how to walk properly. Once the wheelchair is properly fitted he will need to go through physical therapy.
“It’s going to be a process.”
This is not the first instance of 3D printing being used to help animals in need. Earlier this year, a toucan received a 3D-printed bill after being attacked by kids in Brazil, and just last month Cassidy the cat was given a 3D-printed wheelchair.
November 10, 2015. Tumbles at his first wheelchair fitting! I think it's so cute and funny when Little Silly tips forward on his cute little nose! :-D Karen Pilcher, Angela Marx, Michele Summers Friends of the Shelter Dogs The Ohio University Innovation Center made his wheelchair using a 3D printer! It took about 14 HOURS print!***NOT AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION AT THIS TIME.***
Posted by Crystal Richmond on Thursday, 12 November 2015