3D Prosthetics for Dogs and Vets



This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts.


3D prosthetics, custom made, are being printed for dogs at 3D Systems in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This is allowing legless dogs to walk, run and play, all over again! 3D prosthetics are also being used for returning veterans, according to a GlobeNewswire statement released by 3D Systems,

“The team utilized Geomagic Freeform, 3DS’ digital sculpting platform, which allowed them to create perfect organic shapes and smooth curves…”

TechTimes reports that 3D prosthetics are more cost-effective. They also take longer to prepare than traditional prosthetics. By using a 3D printer, parts that need to be replaced, repaired or redesigned can be simply printed out.

The price of regular prosthetic limbs run from $400 to $850 dollars. But new 3D prosthetics are much cheaper and faster to put together at a much lower price. However, a high quality 3D printer has a dollar value under $20K.

3D Prosthetic Limbs

A little rescued Chihuahua by the name of TurboRoo the Chihuahua had a little 3D-cart printed for him. Why? He was born with a birth defect. It was so severe that his front legs never grew from birth. Instead, the little guy has tiny stubs in place of his front legs for the rest of his life.

Born at a breeder’s home, TurboRoo was dropped off at a veterinarian’s office as he was considered unsalable. There is nothing cuter than a tiny Chihuahua puppy, with or without legs, and everyone who worked there fell in love with him.

Ashely Looper, one of the vet technicians who worked there, fell in love with the newcomer. She chose to adopt the disabled puppy on a permanent basis. Everyone worked on designing a cart to assist in TurboRoo’s motor skills, but nothing seemed to work. However, a mechanical engineer by the name of Mark Deadrick soon arrived, president of a company called 3dyn… an engineering and prototype company. Mark had over 20 years experience in the Automotive and Aerospace Industries, and he felt he had enough experience to design a cart for little TurboRoo to travel around in. And he was correct.

He took thumbnail measurements from adequate photos of the puppy, using a 3D modeling software that designed the cart and printed out the prototype on a 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, in four hours. Adding some skateboard wheels to the cart, little TurboRoo awaited its arrival in Indianapolis.

Credit: Ashely Looper of little TurboRoo

Veteran’s 3D Prosthetics

Credit: U.S. Embassy – Kabul Afghanistan

The last two wars have brought returning Afghanistan veterans home without arms and legs. Future procedures have prosthetic limbs feeling touch, temperature, and pressure. According to Tech Times, “the polymer that covers the sensors will even feel like warm human skin to anyone who touches it.”

These new developments for returning veterans have been designed by South Korea and the United States. Findings have been printed in the December 9 issue of Nature Communications.

Specialized 3D Prosthetics for the Needs of Active & Retired Military

The work of the 3D prosthetic legs for dogs has led the way to those without limbs from the military. In fact, today military amputees are needed to test new and advanced prosthetic technologies from leading manufacturers at the Medical Center Orthotics & Prosthetics (MCOP) in the areas of:

  • Below knee prosthetics
  • Bilateral prosthetics
  • Above knee prosthetics
  • Hip disarticulation prosthetics
  • Military prosthetics
  • Pediatric prosthetics

Prosthetic limbs are popular on the market today, whether it is for pets, veterans, children or anyone who has lost a limb. This is all due to new technologies advancing all the time, which includes adjustable sockets for the prosthetics.
New technology for artificial hands and paws

The latest technology is in the hands for veterans and 3D-printing for animals.

  • Advances in technology, materials and design are the momentum behind the newest generation of upper extremity prostheses.
  • Manufacturers all over the world help design, test and improve new products.
  • Recent tech trends include:
    • multi-articulating hands with specialized grasp patterns;
    • custom electric digits for finger amputees;
    • custom fabricated silicone interfaces that accelerate comfort;
    • innovative surgical techniques that may significantly improve a person’s ability to use a prosthesis.
  • New technologies present an increasingly brighter future for pets and people who rely on upper extremity prosthetics.

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WayCoolDog posts originally appeared on WayCoolDogs and are re-posted with the permission of Nancy Houser of WayCoolDogs © 2009 – 2016 WayCoolDogs.com.