A dog born with deformed front legs can run with the assistance of 3D-printed, blade-like prosthetic attachments, Make‘s Caleb Kraft reports.
The dog — named Derby — was born with what appears to be chondrodysplasia, a congenital disease that causes deformation in joint cartilage during development. It often afflicts the front legs of dogs, as it appears to have in Derby’s case, making them unable to walk in a normal manner.
But with the advent of 3D printing, dogs like Derby have a chance at a normal life. As can be seen in the video below, the prosthetic attachments printed for Derby allow him not only to walk, but to run in a conventional manner. This is not due to the 3D printing technology itself, but to the advent of what is called “rapid prototyping.”
Before, the cost and labor that went into producing a prosthetic apparatus like the one Derby uses would be prohibitive — especially for an animal. But because prototypes can now be designed, cheaply printed, and then tested in quick succession, the costs of producing “failed” prototypes is minimal.
“This is what 3D printing is all about,” Tara Anderson, Derby’s owner, said in the video. “To be able to help anybody — a dog, a person — to have a better life? There’s just no better thing to be involved in.”
Watch the entire video documenting Derby’s journey below via 3D Systems on YouTube.