May 5, 2015 | By Alec

We’ve already known for a while that 3D printing is a perfect technology for making arm and hand prostheses in all shapes and sizes But who says only humans should benefit from this exciting technology? Fortunately, more and more animals who have lost limbs or are born without them are also benefitting from the wonders of 3D printing technology, just like the two-legged young Luisa from Germany.

The unfortunate Luisa was born without her front legs and spent all her life crawling and hopping about. Luisa’s mother was a stray in Italy, so her puppies were not welcome in this world. But every cloud has a silver lining, and members from proTier eV saved mother and her five puppies from being put down, even for the puppy missing her front legs. Luisa was found a loving home in the family of Petra Rapp and Manuel Tosche, a pair of experienced dog owners who also happened to have founded 3D printer manufacturers Multec.

As a dog who melts hearts with her eyes and her plight, the employees of Multec quickly decided to take on the challenge of designing and 3D printing a special wheelchair for the young Luisa to enable her to walk and play without assistance. Employees and master students Florian Rapp and Karin Bufe developed a frame with a 3D printed chest shell that fitted the specific requirements of this special dog: it had to be adaptable for the specific requirements of a growing dog. At the same time, it had to be as lightweight as possible. The result? As you can see in the photos, the Rolli wheelchair is an adjustable and anatomically adaptable wheelchair that gives Luisa a whole lot of freedom of movement.

Key in that adjustable frame is a durable and lightweight chestplate (which was 3D printed with a Multirap M420 3D printer), which is capable of holding the weight of an adult dog as well. By adding a number of new pressure parts over time, Luisa will be able to use the same wheelchair for the rest of her life.

As you can see in the video above, the wheelchair has enabled Luisa to play and explore her environment, as any dog should. Her owners have said that the young Luisa is full of life and always up to try new things, despite her physical limitations. The family is currently training a lot with Luisa, to help her build the necessary strength in her hind legs to ensure she has the energy to do everything she wants.

Do you happen to know a handicapped dog like Luisa, who is in need of a wheelchair? Then here’s some great news. The engineering team over at Multec has made the entire design available as an open source design. All files, including 3D printable designs, can be downloaded from their website here. The current setup was reportedly cheap and easy to 3D print, though you might have to adjust the designs for each individual dog. This design is aimed at a dog with small stumps after all, so it will take some careful measuring to get right. But the result is definitely worth it, as every dog in the world should be given the opportunity to enjoy and explore her life.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Marcelo Molinari wrote at 8/19/2017 9:36:58 PM:

Automatic typer correctos error: I wanted to stay "I really need help.." That's my e-mail also corrected: Thanks a lot Marcelo

MARCELO MOLINARI wrote at 8/19/2017 9:30:45 PM:

Sorry: I mean "I really need help please..." (automatic correction error)

MARCELO MOLINARI ( wrote at 8/19/2017 9:25:27 PM:

really nerd contacours, please. I have a German Shepherd, more than 25kg, that cannot Walker anymore bevause a disease that affected its back legs. A Special Challenge is to allow walk on irregular surfaces. I think you for a well-satisfied solution with LUISA. Please, contact me to help BÓRIS, my dog. Talking Grim Brazil, Thank you Very muchas Marcelo Molinari

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