Dog gets 3D-printed legs

Derby was born with stubby front legs, but Tara Anderson used 3D printing technology to fashion the dog a pair of prosthetics (inset). (Photo Credit: Derby Portanova/Facebook)

When Tara Anderson, a director at 3D Systems, a 3D printing company, read the ad about Derby, a dog born with deformed front legs, from Peace and Paws, a rescue she adopted her other dog from, she debated calling to foster him.

Should she foster a dog who couldn’t move faster than a crawl? She wound up visiting the rescue, and came home with Derby.

She fitted him with a cart that expanded the animal’s mobility. The only problem was Derby couldn’t get close to other dogs, and his movements were still somewhat limited.

She wanted to do more. So she created a pair of specially fitted prosthetic legs for the dog.

Derby isn’t the first dog to get prosthetic legs made from a 3D printer. Other pets (and people) have benefitted from prosthetics made from such a device. Prosthetics can be extremely expensive, but those made from 3D printers are a fraction of the cost of standard prosthetics.

From the moment he had his prosthetic legs put on, he started jumping around and running. Anderson talks about Derby and his prosthetics in a video that was picked up by The New York Daily News. She says Derby is one happy dog.

Shortly after Anderson fostered Derby, he was adopted. “I don’t become impressed really quickly, but when I saw him sprinting like that, it was amazing,” says Dom Portanova, Derby’s new parent.

Portanova and his wife are thrilled having Derby around, and the dog seems more than pleased, too.

Sources: The New York Daily News, Parade, The Verge