How 3D Printing Is Changing Animal’s Lives
The technology behind 3D printing is changing a lot of lives nowadays and animals are no different. Thanks to the intelligence and creativity of certain individuals, some animals are literally getting a leg up in life because of these portable printers.
Remember the movie “A Dolphin Tale,”about an animal named Winter who got a prosthetic tail thanks to a team of experts? In Winter’s case, it took prosthetist Dan Strzempka and Kevin Carroll, along with a team of other volunteers, over 18-months to fashion this device.
But that was over ten years ago and with advances in technology, some people are crafting devices in just a few hours. Today with some training and a little bit of time, animals with prosthetics are literally getting a new lease on life.
Here are some more “tails” of animals who were given new mobility thanks to 3D printing and some very compassionate people.
Derby the Dog
Lucky for this canine, who was born with deformed legs, his foster Mom, Tara Anderson, worked for a company called 3D Systems and had the expertise to lend a hand in getting Derby new front legs. She got Derby back on his new feet, able to be adopted by a new family and his new owner, Dom Portanova, couldn’t be happier with his new best friend.
“He runs with me and my wife every day, at least two to three miles,” Dom shares. “When I saw him sprinting like that on his new legs, it was just amazing.”
Cyrano the Cat
After being diagnosed with cancer, Cyrano’s owners didn’t give up on him. But following invasive treatments that cured him of this disease, it left the cat without the ability to walk on one of his back legs with a badly damaged knee joint. In cases like this, normally the animal’s limb is amputated, but Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little and his collaborator Professor Ola Harrysson, they worked together to create a solution for this beloved pet.
Cyrano become one of the first cats to receive a specially made knee part crafted to his exact specifications from bone scans and the use of 3D printing techniques. Although he walks with a slight limp, he still has his back leg and is completely mobile.
More than Cats and Dogs
It’s not just our furry friends that are getting these new parts, many other animals are getting prosthetic parts that often save their lives. In the town of Grecia in Costa Rica, they had a local mascot bearing the same name in the form of a beautiful Toucan. Sadly, Grecia’s bill was broken by some cruel and thoughtless teenagers and there’s not a lot a bird can do without a beak.
Thanks to donations from all over the community, a crowdfunding campaign and a loving veterinarian named Carmen Soto, Grecia was given a new bill. While he will have to live out the rest of his life in captivity, he can still survive a full life and eat on his own.
Thanks to people like these and the advancing technologies of 3D printing, these animals are not only surviving, they’re thriving. If you’d like to help other animals in need, please consider making a small donation today.