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Helping A Dog With No Front Paws Run With 3D Printing

Helping A Dog With No Front Paws Run With 3D Printing

Derby is a playful puppy born with a congenital deformity that gave him small forearms and no front paws. He could get around on soft surfaces and even used a cart at one point, but his mobility just couldn’t match his spirit. Yesterday, 3D printing firm 3D Systems announced that it has made Derby his own set of prosthetic limbs. He’s running outside.

While Derby isn’t immobile without assistance, moving around outside is punishing to his front limbs. He would get scrapes and abrasions. According to a press release, Derby found his new limbs through the foster care of an employee of 3D Systems, Tara Anderson, who got Derby from a dog rescue group in Hillsborough, N.H. Anderson decided to use the company’s resources to help Derby become the puppy he wants to be.

Derby’s front limbs were first 3D scanned and measured. Then engineers from the company settled on a design that would integrate naturally with Derby’s movements. 3D Systems next used the ProJet 5500X multi-material 3D printer to form cups of rubber and rigid spokes of plastic all in one print. Literally a few hours after the prosthetics were visualized on a computer, 3D Systems had limbs shipped to Derby for testing.

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Derby’s new adoptive parents, Sherri and Dom Portanova, told 3D Systems that the limbs are working wonderfully. “He runs with Sherri and I every day, at least two to three miles,” says Dom Portanova. “When I saw him sprinting like that on his new legs it was just amazing.”

You can read the full press release from 3D Systems here.

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Comments

  1. D. says:

    That is so amazing!!!  *sniff*

  2. Brian says:

    I LOVE SCIENCE!

  3. jenweb says:

    This is the best! hope it doesn’t hurt his back, though, they look a tad low compared to his back legs. i love technology at times like this!

    • Scott says:

      It’s mentioned that they started him with lower prosthetics, so he can get used to actually using them.  I’d imagine there will be a few intermediate steps before he gets to his final set.

  4. dubh says:

    THAT is soooo cool