Nov 4, 2015 | By Tess

It is a sad reality that when people’s beloved pets are injured or handicapped they are often forced to abandon or put them down because of extremely high treatment costs. For one pup named Tazo this was almost the case, as he was brought to the Animal Haven no-kill shelter in New York City after suffering from an accident that left his back legs paralyzed. His owners could not pay for his rehabilitation or to have a prosthetic piece made for him so they gave him up. Luckily for Tazo, however, the shelter teamed up with TurboRoo and The 3D Printing Store to find a solution to Tazo’s impediment.

TurboRoo, designers of dog enabling prosthetics, are perhaps best known for creating a front-wheeled cart for the two legged Chihuahua they are named after, TurboRoo. Upon hearing of Tazo’s story from Animal Haven, TurboRoo set out to find a way to help the dog regain his quality of life, and started work on their very first back axle prosthetic dogcart.


The initial prototype designed by Turboroo consisted of a metal frame with some concentric bars and a great deal of hardware, which allowed Tazo to walk and run again but wasn’t the best suited for the little dog. In order to create a more efficient and fitting prosthetic cart, TurboRoo enlisted the help of The 3D Printing Store, a Denver, Colorado based 3D printing service.

Upon being approached by TurboRoo for the project, the 3D Printing Store head of marketing and operations, Justin Finesilver said, “I was excited for the opportunity to design and create the world’s first 3D printed back wheel dog prosthetic cart. We were excited to bring this new idea to a deserving dog like Tazo.”

Tazo in his first cart prototype

TurboRoo provided Tazo’s measurements in designing the 3D printed prosthetic, and the 3D Printing Store set about making a customized cart for Tazo using SolidWorks software. In order to additively manufacture the prosthetic cart, Finesilver chose to collaborate with Somerville, Massachusetts 3D printing service MarkForged.

The dogcart was 3D printed by MarkForged using a 10% nylon infill without a composite reinforcement. After being manufactured, the pieces were spray painted and assembled, making for a colorful and quite stylish prosthetic support for Tazo. The nylon material that the cart is made of is also ideal because of its lightweight, but still strong properties, allowing for Tazo to run around and enjoy his freedom of movement.

Tazo in his 3D printed prosthetic cart

Tazo was presented with his new and improved 3D printed prosthetic cart during a day planned for him by the Animal Haven shelter in association with Natural Balance, a pet food company. Appropriately, TurboRoo the two-legged Chihuahua was there to play with Tazo once he was installed with his new prosthetic. The video of Tazo’s “best day” can be seen below.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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