By this point, Derby is a well known character in the 3D-printing world. He became famous after getting a pair of 3D-printed legs last years so he could walk straight and sit like a regular dog. But soon it became time to design him a new pair.
3D Systems, a South Carolina-based company, created his first pair, and designed them to be close to the ground so Derby could get used to them without hurting himself falling down. Their initial plans were to upgrade him to a taller version of the original ones, but the plan didn’t work out as hoped.
They decided to design him a better option. Tara Anderson, the director of product management at 3D Systems, said the company realized that it would be better if Derby had prosthetics that had a little flexibility like a real knee would.
The company decided to use selective laser sintering (SLS) to create Derby’s new legs, instead of the multisite 3D printing technology they used the first time. SLS uses heat to fuse together small particles of material that constitute a 3D object. The manufacturing process resulted in two new prosthetics that had more bounce, but were also harder and more durable.
The legs have a figure-eight helical infinity design which perfectly fits his physical requirements. Derby can now move and play like other dogs, as if he never missed his front legs. He’s already started to run a little.
Derby, a husky dog, was born with a deformity — his front legs never fully developed. His first owners didn’t think they could provide him with the care he needed, so he was given to a dog rescue, Peace and Paws, in New Hampshire. Here Derby was lucky enough to catch the attention of Tara Anderson of 3D Systems, who decided to help him.
Before receiving prosthetics, Derby had to get by with crawling on his rear legs. He spent most of his time kneeling on his chest, which regularly got scratched and bruised.
With Derby’s new legs, he’s now completely self-sufficient (as much as a pet dog can be). His owner, Sherry Portanova, is very pleased.
“He feels like a real dog,” she said. “He’s been walking and even sitting, which he has never been able to do.”
Just another story of an amazing technology that can create made-to-scale limbs and other body parts to change the lives of people and animals alike.