Catching Up with the Little Dog Who Could

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Early last year covered the touching tale of Derby, a little dog that was born with a congenital deformity that left him with deformed front legs and no paws. This made it virtually impossible for Derby to get around and even harder on hard or rough surfaces. Nearly a year ago though, Derby received a pair if small 3D printed prosthetics, which would help him begin his journey to a more normal life. Today, we will check up on Derby whose prosthetics have received a few upgrades since we last saw him.

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Working once again with the Peace and Paws Dog Rescue organizations; the same group who helped Derby to get his first set of prosthetics, Derby’s owner began working on the next generation of Derby’s prosthetics. The goal of the upgrades was to raise Derby up to his full height and give him even more of the function and mobility that other dogs have. But to do this they would need a new material, regular FDM printing wasn’t going to have the little bit of flex need for Derby’s longer prosthetics. Tara Anderson, who fostered Derby, spoke of the solution to this very problem stating “We needed something like nylon that would have that structural capacity, but also that little bit of give and take that real knees have,” she explained. “The results are a pair of prosthetics that have a bit of bounce in them, and enable Derby to move around like any other dog.”

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Derby has taken to his new prosthetics well, and he doesn’t seem to mind all of the testing or swapping out of parts. His owner Sherry detailed some of the benefits, such as “Derby took to his new prosthetic very well. No different really in having them on than the old ones except it raised him to his proper height. He’s walking in a straight line and he’s sitting like a real dog sits, like he hasn’t really been able to do,”  These improvements more importantly now have Derby’s front end in line with his back, which will hopefully prevent any further issues for Derby later in his life.  You can see the updated video showing Derby’s new front legs below.

Alec. “Derby the Dog Walks and Sits More like Other Dogs Now with Updated 3D Printed Prosthetics.” 3ders.org. 3ders.org, 30 Dec. 2015. Web. 04 Jan. 2016

Posted in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog.

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