The advent of 3D printing has made miracles happen, as Derby the dog can certainly attest to. He was born with a congenital disease that caused a malformation in his front paws which shaped them more like flippers than feet. Sadly, this meant that Derby couldn't run with other dogs or even get around the house normally. He needed something that would aid his movements.
Luckily for Derby, a compassionate animal lover named Tara Anderson volunteered to foster him through the New Hampshire-based rescue Peace and Paws. She was intent on using her knowledge of 3D printing to help the canine move like any other dog. And as an employee of the company 3D Systems, she was familiar with what the technology was capable of. Anderson enlisted the help of Derrick Campana who's an dog orthotist expert at Animal Ortho Care in Virginia.
The team came up with a design that uses cups to hold Derby's front legs to give them the support that they need. They were first manually carved as plaster casts and then digitized with a Geomagic Capture 3D scanner. The semi-circular-shaped prosthetics were matched up with a CT scan of Derby's legs to optimize their fit and comfort.
The ingenious solution was a roaring success. Once Derby had the prosthetics on, he was immediately able to run – something he wasn't able to do before. Check out the heartwarming video below and watch the happy canine go.