Jan 28, 2016 | By Kira
Romina, a six-year-old Whippet (a medium-size dog breed descended from Greyhounds) is set to become the first dog in Mexico to receive a jointed 3D printed prosthetic leg thanks to specialists from the Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM). The 3D printed prosthetic dog leg is part of an ongoing project at UVM that wants to make affordable, customized 3D printed prosthetics available to pets around the world.
Romina was involved in a terrible lawn mower accident in Brazil in 2013, completely losing one of her front legs, and seriously damaging the other. Yet thanks to advanced 3D scanning and 3D printing technology, she will join the ranks of Yogo, Derby, Tazo and Tumbles, fellow canine pets whose mobility and quality of life have been greatly improved with 3D printed prosthetic devices.
“We did a three dimensional scan of Romina’s stump, and from that we were able to design a custom-fitted prosthetic through computer software that would perfectly match the size and requirements she has,” said Dr. Stantiago Garcia Pasquel, coordinator of large species animals at the Veterinary Hospital at UVM.
The final iteration of Romina’s 3D printed leg is set to be completed within the next three months. Like the prototypes shown in theses images, it will feature silicone joints that mimic the natural movements of a dog’s leg, and will be made from either 3D printed carbon fibre or aluminum—extremely durable yet lightweight materials that won’t prevent the young Whippet from running and jumping as she used to. The finished leg will also be printed in a color that is close to her natural fur coat.
According to Pasquel, the main advantages of the 3D printed animal prosthetics being developed at UVM come down to time, cost, and weight reductions, since the prosthetics can be made from a variety of materials, from plastics to carbon fibre, aluminum or other metals, depending on the animal’s size and specific needs. 3D printed prototypes and even finished models can also be manufactured from start to finish in as little as 24 hours.
Pasquel and his colleagues at the UVM envision a specialized service, in which veterinarians from anywhere in the world with dogs in a similar condition to Romina could contact them, or potentially even log into a website and download 3D files of various pet prosthetics. The 3D models could then be customized as needed and taken to a local 3D printing bureau to be made into functional, life-changing devices.
After receiving her 3D printed prosthetic, Romina will receive psyhiotherapy training at UVM’s Veterinary Hospital for a period of 2 to 3 months, as the video below shows her walking, but still with some difficulty as she adjusts to the new leg. The doctors are also considering options for treating her second damaged leg.
Though the UVM team have yet to specify a cost for a 3D printed prosthetic such as Romina’s, they have said that their goal is to produce them at significantly cheaper costs compared to existing dog prosthetics, with the overall aim of giving more of our furry friends the chance at a healthier and happier life.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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julia kalmon wrote at 2/14/2016 2:18:48 AM:
I have a three legged horse in yucatan....are you interested in helping her?