Oct 18, 2017 | By Tess

Millie, a Greyhound pup with a missing paw from Australia, has been fitted with a custom 3D printed prosthetic leg. The 3D printed prosthetic, designed by Millie’s owner, has allowed the dog to walk and even run normally again.

Millie, now four years old, tragically lost her front left paw when she was a puppy, and for most of her life has struggled to either cope without the paw or to adapt to new and experimental prosthetic legs.

In fact, Millie went through four different prosthetics before receiving her customized 3D printed leg, all of which were either outgrown, too heavy and clunky, or expensive to replace or fix (upwards of $2,000!).

Some of Millie's past prosthetic legs

Fortunately, Millie’s owners, architect Ed Dieppe and wife Nora, realized that they could probably design and build Millie her own custom prosthetic leg using 3D modeling software and 3D printing.

Wanting the best for his three-legged pup, Ed set about designing a prosthetic leg for Millie using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software. A local 3D printing service, Queensland-based Reality 3D Printing helped him with the 3D printing side of things.

Ultimately, the Dieppes were able to design and 3D print a prosthetic leg for Millie made from CPE, a co-polyester plastic. Importantly, the design of the prosthesis was optimized for Millie: fitting her leg almost perfectly and being lightweight enough for her to carry it with ease. The prosthesis was 3D printed using an Ultimaker 3 3D printer (seen below).

Fitted with the 3D printed leg, Millie has been able to walk, run around, and even jump like a normal pup.

The best part? If a part of the 3D printed prosthetic breaks or is worn down, Ed can simply 3D print a replacement part and have the prosthetic back up and running without having to dish out tons of money for a new standardized prosthesis.

Similarly, if Millie grows or needs any adjustments to her prosthetic, her owners are on hand to tweak the design file and 3D print her a new one if necessary.

“From concept to delivery the process could not have been better,” explained Ed Dieppe. “With the previous adaptations of Millie’s prosthetics we have never been able to develop the design before the prosthetics have gone into production, often leaving us with surprise outcomes.”

“But being able to review the design in 3D with Fusion 360, we had the opportunity to workshop the design live, pick up any potential design flaws, and quickly prototype new parts. The results have been amazing and Millie is taking to her new prosthetic incredibly well,” he added.

Millie is reportedly the first dog in Australia to be successfully fitted with a 3D printed prosthetic leg.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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locklandm@gmail.com wrote at 11/16/2017 7:04:03 AM:

This is truly amazing to read...we just had our ltle mini Poodle a rescue dog of ours undergo many wks now of surgery after both front legs were crushed by split second accident with a car driving past...he has now lost part of his right leg below elbow ..our amazing surgeon saved part & his other leg badly crushed is pinned & still in cast..he has also lost claws as knuckles badly broken, they managed to save two..pad & paw still hopefully will be saved..he’s been a remarkable ltle dog throughout his ordeal..& we feel blessed to still have him...We are just reluctant to put him through anymore surgery for a prosthetic right leg ... very hopeful down the track the 3D option may help...

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