These guys give disabled animals new limbs by 3D printing custom parts.
Called 3D Pets, the company creates full-limb prostheses and carts for dogs and other animals.
Their goal was to transform the lives of animals, and the results are truly inspiring.
Company founders Alex Tholl and Adam Hecht got into the business knowing there would be a lot of challenges.
“It was extremely time-consuming and the results were a little lackluster because of the complexity and size of the devices,” Tholl told supercarblondie.com.
“So over the course of six months, we worked on developing this entire system, and we had run through a ton of tests to see if this was even going to be possible.”
Tholl said he and his partner tested hundreds of materials.
“It wasn’t until a stroke of luck when a test material really showed us that it was possible to have a lot of flexibility in specific areas and rigidity in others,” he said.
The parts are modeled using 3D scans of the pets and from here, they print the pieces to fit the animals perfectly.
“Pet prosthetics, like human prosthetics, were really stuck in the past with the same fabrication methods that had been used for 40 years,” he said.
“So having an opportunity to bring these types of devices into the 21st century has really been a tremendous thing for us.”
The prosthetic limbs have given so many animals a new lease on life, allowing them to move independently, in some cases for the first time.
While the guys mainly create 3D limbs for dogs, they’ve created a bunch of devices for a whole range of animals, including turtles and ducks.
Tholl said the success of one of their 3D limbs largely came down to time and patience.
“We’re trying to teach an animal to use a device they have no idea how to even understand, and so the biggest and most important factor of that is having patience and being willing to put in the time and the effort to see the benefits,” he said.
“Some dogs pick this up very quickly, others take a good bit of time, and it really does require a family to have a lot of patience and care to see the results.”