Almost half of all canine limb amputations result from either cancer treatment or accidents, underscoring the critical need for effective solutions to enhance the mobility and quality of life for our four-legged friends. While strides have been made in the field of animal prostheses, achieving a widespread and efficient solution has remained a challenge. Here comes to the rescue is 3D printed prosthetics.
Dogs, in particular, place a substantial 60% of their body weight on their front legs, making it imperative to ensure the even distribution of weight for their well-being. Neglecting this aspect can lead to more severe health complications down the road. Fortunately, advancements in medical 3D printing that have benefited humans are now extending their transformative reach to our animal companions. New Jersey-based company 3D Pets is on a mission to usher animal mobility into the 21st century.
As a subsidiary of DiveDesign, a renowned 3D printing and design company, 3D Pets has emerged as a dedicated entity with a singular focus on revolutionizing veterinary care with 3D printed prosthetics.. Their pioneering approach involves the creation of custom dog prosthetics tailored to the unique needs of each canine patient. To achieve this, they harness the power of FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printing technology and 3D scanning, with a surprising twist: they rely on smartphones for a crucial part of the process.
Cameras in 3D Scanning
3D Pets leverages the advanced cameras that have become commonplace on smartphones in a creative adaptation of modern technology. Their innovative workflow comprises several steps. First, the client fills out a questionnaire to determine the most suitable style of prosthesis for their furry friend. Subsequently, 3D Pets dispatches a molding kit to the client, enabling them to create a precise mold of their pet’s body. Once the mold is ready, the magic happens with a smartphone’s LiDAR and TrueDepth cameras. These cameras perform a comprehensive 360-degree scan of the mold, capturing the necessary data in a digital file.
The digital file is then imported into modeling software, where it undergoes fine-tuning to perfectly accommodate the dog’s individual shape, size, and prosthetic requirements. This meticulous adjustment ensures both the dog’s comfort and optimal mobility. The final result is a customized harness ready for 3D printing.
Crafting a Tailored Solution with FDM 3D Printing
The production phase of 3D printed prosthetics involves 3D printing the customized prosthesis using an FDM 3D printer to make 3D printed prosthetics. While the specific details of the 3D printing machine remain undisclosed, 3D Pets shares that they employ flexible TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) plastics available in multiple colors. After printing, a post-processing phase addresses any imperfections, ensuring the prosthesis meets the highest standards. Finally, the assembled prosthesis is presented to the fortunate pup, embarking on a journey of rediscovering how to walk on all fours with comfort and confidence.
This innovative process to make 3D printed prosthetics has paved the way for numerous dogs to reclaim their active and joyful lives. 3D Pets continues to make a profound difference for dogs and the human families who cherish their furry companions by making 3D printed prosthetics.
Elevating 3D Printed Prosthetics with Dive Design and Bionic Pets
The transformative potential of 3D printing in the realm of 3D printed prosthetics extends beyond individualized solutions for pets. Dive Design, based in New Jersey, has partnered with Bionic Pets, a company dedicated to crafting accessibility technology for animals. Derrick Campana, the mastermind behind Bionic Pets, has a storied history of handcrafting pet prosthetics and even hosts a television show, “The Wizard of Paws,” on Brigham Young University’s television channel.
Approximately a year ago, Dive Design’s leaders, Alex Tholl and Adam Hecht, collaborated with Derrick Campana at his Virginia lab to explore ways to enhance the pet prosthetics production process. Their vision has the potential to revolutionize the landscape of full-limb replacements for animals, harnessing the power of 3D printing technology to provide pets with newfound mobility and improved quality of life.
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