3D printing lets another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends.
A 3D-printed wheelchair has enabled a dachshund puppy, born without front limbs, to walk again. This heartwarming story is just the latest example of how the additive process is helping our friends from the animal kingdom get a second lease on life. Last year, we saw an adorable Chihuahua nicknamed TurboRoo roll around in his 3D-printed cart, while fellow canine Derby was given modified front legs that let the husky run for the first time.
In this case, the six-month-old dog’s owners Trevor Byers and Elissa Smoak decided to build their beloved pup a wheelchair in an effort to help Bubbles get around in a much easier manner. To do so, the couple used a “combination of carbon fiber, model airplane, and 3D printed parts with the hope that others would be able to utilize the same design for their own dogs in need of a wheelchair,” 3ders.org writes.
Byers uploaded the life-changing design to MakerBot’s Thingiverse for other pet owners in a similar situation seeking assistance. “Bubbles is the reason I bought my printer in the first place and she loves the freedom it has given her,” the Maker explains.
The design features a torso support combined with an axle and two wheels. Once again, the prosthetic creation proved to not only be a more affordable option, but is more accessible than existing wheelchairs on the market today. Additionally, a pet owner can customize the size and weight of the contraption depending on the dog’s needs.
So, whether it’s a seven-year-old boy, Stumpy the turtle, or Quack Quack the duck, 3D printing has the potential to change the lives of humans and animals alike. The latest string of projects merely scratch the surface of the technology’s wide-range of uses, and more impressively, how localized manufacturing will only require one person to create a model and for the entire world to benefit.