Derby is a husky mix from the United States who was born with underdeveloped legs. In order to help him, Sherry Portanova together with Tara Anderson, from 3D Systems, sought to give the gentle dog a fighting chance. Derby gets a new prosthetic upgrade, due to the fact that the old one wouldn’t allow the dog to sit like other normal dogs.
As stated, Tara Anderson and her team working for 3D System were the ones who developed Derby’s original prosthetic legs. However, the original project has a slight flaw which, in term, prevented the dog from sitting normally. Anderson’s first project did not take into account the dog’s height. Thus, with the prosthetic limbs being too short, the dog couldn’t sit straight like other dogs.
Anderson and her team, when designing Derby’s prosthetic, used only 3D printed parts. The original prosthetic was the first step in making Derby run like a normal dog. However, due to the prosthetic’s limitations, the team went on to designed a new one from scratch.
The next step towards making Derby a happy and prancing dog had a two-folded orientation. First of wall, they had to do something about Derby’s spinal column. Being born with underdeveloped legs, Derby’s spinal column was far from having a normal conformation.
The next step, during the second process, was to develop a new prosthetic in orde to replace Derby’s old one. Using the blade strategy, the team manage to design a new walking system for the dog, one that would put some distance between her and the ground.
Unfortunately, it would seem that the new system made the dog even sloppier. According to the owner of the dog, the system made Derby walk like she had two balloons attached to her feet.
Not wanting to give up on the dog, the team managed to pull one more ace out of their sleeves. Derby gets a new prosthetic upgrade and it would seem that it works. The team managed to design a whole new prosthetic system using a whole new 3D printing technology called Selective Laser Sintering.
According to Anderson, the dog will now be able to sit normally and even run. Her team managed to construct and artificial 3D knee for the dog. Moreover, the new prosthetic is a lot taller than the original design. Thus, the new limbs will provide Derby with everything she needs in order to develop like a normal dog.
Portanova, the dog’s owner, said that after being fitted with the new prosthetic, Derby seems to be more energic.