Meet Derby! This adorable Husky mix was born with deformed front legs and paws. It was impossible for him to walk around like other dogs. He did his best to move around but as you can imagine it sometimes left him with cuts or injuries.
Derby was rescued from a shelter by Peace and Paws. It was there that he got the attention of a woman named Tara Anderson who happens to work at 3D Systems who was there to adopt another dog. If you’re not familiar 3D Systems is a company that has pioneered 3D printer technology and really helped to bring it into the mainstream. Some things are just meant to be.
Once Tara met Derby and heard heard his story she couldn’t get her mind off of him. She kept reading his story and looking at his photos online and crying. She knew that she could somehow help this dog and agreed to foster him.
The more Tara got to know Derby, the more she fell in love and was absolutely determined to help him out. Derby got a set of wheels, but it’s wasn’t ideal. It didn’t offer him the experience of actually running or walking, and would get stuck in difficult terrain. The wheels were awkward and made it hard for him to play with other dogs. Tara knew there had to be a better way for Derby to get around.
Working in the world of 3D-printed products, she thought that maybe she and her co-workers could somehow come up with a 3D printed prosthetic leg that would give Derby the mobility he desired and experience of actually running and walking, which every dog craves. What happened next would change Derby’s world forever!
Working with a 3D printer made it easier to get the prosthetics fitted to the exact measurements of Derby’s legs and feet. They didn’t have to make models and try them on Derby to see how they fit, they scanned his legs and modified the prosthetic to fit Derby perfectly all inside a computer saving a lot of time and money.
They kept Derby’s prosthetic legs nice and low to the ground, that way he wouldn’t have such a drastic change from what he was use to. They will continue to raise the prosthetic legs higher and higher until he is fully adjusted and at a more natural height for a dog of his size.
Derby took to his new legs instantly and even outruns his new adopted parents.
It’s absolutely amazing what can happen when science, technology and love come together.