Derby, a gorgeous husky mix who was born with deformed front legs that hindered his mobility, is now able to walk and run due to the 3D-printed prosthetic paws that were created for him by 3D Systems (3DS). The idea came about when Tara Anderson, a 3DS employee, decided to foster Derby through Peace and Paws Rescue.
Tara, as a 3D Systems employee, knew that 3D printing afforded an unmatched level of design freedom, functionality and speed. Using 3D technology, she knew it would be possible to rapidly design and manufacture prosthetics customized to Derby’s morphology. Marshaling help from Derrick Campana, a certified Orthotist at Animal Ortho Care in Chantilly, VA, and 3DS designers, Kevin Atkins and Dave DiPinto, data of Derby’s forearms and 3D scan data of a cup design, created by Campana, were used to create the 3D design. The team utilized Geomagic Freeform, 3DS’ digital sculpting platform, which allowed them to create perfect organic shapes and smooth curves for Derby’s shape.
Derby’s adopted humans, Sherry and Dom Portanova, are overjoyed with the how the prosthetics have helped Derby.
I don’t become impressed too quickly, but when I saw him sprinting like that, I just couldn’t believe it. …He runs with Sherry and myself every day, at least 2-3 miles. He runs faster than both of us, he never really tires out. He’s just so happy to do that.