Derby, the gorgeous husky mix with deformed front legs whom we wrote about last year, received an upgrade to his previous set of 3D printed paws, which allowed him to walk and run but left him in a permanent stoop. In order to bring Derby up to his regular height, 3D Systems (3DS) employee Tara Anderson and her team did a bit of experimenting, but eventually found the perfect design.
Realizing the task at hand was not as straightforward as polishing off a previous success, it was back to the drawing board to concept a new design. Our goal was to maintain the same adaptive curve at the prosthetic’s point of contact with the ground so Derby could pivot and play as before, while also attempting a knee-like structure to provide the appropriate amount of give for the new height. Our structural reassessment likewise called for a review of our material choice, leading us to select nylon for the right blend of stability and flex. …When we strapped Derby into this new version, we knew we had a winner. Now up to his natural height, Derby took off at a trot, testing out his new legs with his fluffy tail wagging and pink tongue lolling.