1. Derby the Dog
Derby is a husky mix (go huskies) who was born with deformed front legs and paws. While he was in the shelter, he caught the eye of Tara Anderson, who works for 3D printing pioneer 3D Systems. Tara knew she had to do something to help Derby, and agreed to foster him to see what she could do. Originally they outfitted Derby in a harness with a set of wheels, but that proved awkward and didn’t allow Derby to run around and interact with dogs naturally. With their 3D printing knowledge, Tara and her coworkers were able to print a set of prosthetics ftted to Derby’s exact measurements. Source.
2. Vincent the Cat
When Vincent was brought to the shelter as a kitten, both of hind legs were missing below the midway point of his shins. It was there that Cindy Jones, of rural Nevada found him. Luckily for Vincent, Jones’s daughter Emily was attending veterinary school at Iowa State at the time. Emily connected Vincent to Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery in the ISU Department of Veterinary Clinical Services. With the help of Biomedtrix, Dr. Bergh equipped Vincent with a pair of titanium-alloy hind legs so he can get into trouble just like any other cat. Source.
3. Yu the Turtle
Yu is a an endangered loggerhead turtle who washed up in a Japanese fishing net, her front flippers shredded from a suspected encounter with a shark. Keepers at an aquarium near Kobe, Japan, went through dozens of design iterations to get Yu Chan swimming and moving around again. Turtles have very fragile bones, which posed some problems in the design process, especially in fixing the flippers to her body. Here Yu Chan is seen wearing a soft vest that holds the flexible rubber flippers secure to her limbs. Source.
4. Hero the Cow
In April of 2013, a calf named “Hero” was found in Virginia with frostbite on his hind legs and tail. Appropriately named animal lover Kitty Martin adopted Hero and took him back to her animal rescue ranch to try to nurse Hero back to health. After contacting veterinarians all over the country, Martin brought Hero to Texas A&M for treatment. There the doctors removed the damaged legs and replaced them with prosthetics. Doctors were able to have totally healthy skin cover the amputation site and achieved a comfortable cushion for attaching Hero’s permanent prosthetics. Source.
5. Gigi the Parrot
Gigi is a Brazilian Macaw who was rescued from captivity by police in Brazil. When Gigi was found, she had been abandoned and her beak was so damaged she could not eat solid food. A team of veterinarians and 3D printing experts first developed a life size model made of plastic that could fit on her beak. But they knew this wouldn’t work for the long term because of the hard nuts and seeds Macaws use their beaks to open. Using their plastic model, the team printed a beak made of titanium held in place by colorful orthopedic screws. Source.