Another day, another animal given a new lease on life thanks to 3D printing. This time it’s Derby, a dog born with deformed legs who, with the help of some folks at 3DSystems, now runs alongside his owners with gleeful abandon. Derby’s front legs have been augmented with two blade-like attachments that Who’s-a-Good-Boy uses to run and scamper.
Derby was placed into a foster home by The Peace And Paws Rescue and ended up with a 3DSystems employee, Tara Anderson. Two designers and Derrick Campana, an animal orthotist, scanned Derby’s legs and made cradles and blades that fit him perfectly.
While this footage, like the footage of 3D-printed ducks before it, is designed primarily to melt our poor widdle hearts, it’s wonderful to see a dog so happy and all thanks to rapid prototyping. While these sorts of things were possible for decades, the work required to sculpt legs like these was prohibitive, especially for an animal. Now, however, you could feasibly design these once and scale them up and down for various animals, inviting in the Age of the Bionic Hamster or the Era of the Cyber-Ermine. Or, simply, the Hour of Sweet, Lovable Derby.
“This is what 3D printing is all about,” said Anderson. “To be able to help anybody – a dog, a person – to have a better life? There’s just no better thing to be involved in.”