Dec.18, 2013

A pony mare in Australia has become one of the first horses to be fitted with tailored 3D printed titanium horseshoes. Holly, a ten-year-old mare, has for three years suffered a chronic foot disease called laminitis, which causes inflammation between the hoof and the bone, making walking painful.

The team of 3D printing experts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) worked with horse podiatrists to scan Holly's feet and design the 'horse-thotic' which aims to support the foot and encourage it to heal, whilst making Holly comfortable. Today she took the first steps in her new 3D printed titanium shoes that were custom designed to fit her foot.

Horse vet and farrier, Dr Luke Wells-Smith from the Equine Podiatry and Lameness Centre, said his team saw the 3D printed shoe CSIRO built for a race horse earlier this year and started to think about using 3D printing to rehabilitate lame horses.

"The new shoes will work to redistribute weight away from the painful areas of the laminitic foot and give Holly, and horses like her, the chance to recover," he said. "Christmas is looking a lot merrier for Holly this year. She should be walking normally and without pain in just a few weeks."

"Many attempts have been made in the past to cure Laminitis but it's the 3D scanning and design part of this process that is so exciting to us." said Luke.

CSIRO's 3D printing expert, John Barnes, said scanning the hoof would allow them to manufacture a shoe that is the 'perfect fit' for these complicated foot diseases, giving the horse the best possible chance for rehabilitation. "Rehabilitation of horses has been a completely new area of work for CSIRO. We're glad that this technology is opening so many doors and is now helping to aid the rehab process for these animals and get them walking comfortably again."

CSIRO scientists have previously used 3D printing to make titanium horseshoes for racing. They claimed in October that the shoes weigh 50 per cent less than standard cast-aluminium shoes.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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yru wrote at 12/19/2013 11:29:10 AM:

all people in home land and abroad well fed and healthy I assume, since we have so much time to care about other animals

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