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3D printing gives Derby the dog new lease of life

Derby is a dog born with a congenital deformity. He was born with tiny forelegs, and without any paws on them. Without an awkward looking wheelchair strapped to his front, he couldn’t walk.

But thanks to a 3D printer, this dog can finally walk and run. Now, Derby runs some five kilometres every day.

Derby got his legs thanks to 3D Systems, a company that used 3D scanners and a sophisticated 3D modelling software, to create the prosthesis for the dog.

He started running as soon as he got them.

The dog's owner, Dom Portanova, says Derby is a very happy dog now, and runs with his wife Sherri every day. "It's unbelievable seeing him running. I couldn't believe it. He runs with Sherri and I every day, at least two to three miles."

"When I saw him sprinting like that on his new legs, it was just amazing. He's very happy," he said.

His deformity resulted in the dog ending up in the care of Hillsborough, New Hampshire-based dog rescue group, Peace and Paws.

After that, he ended up in the foster home of Tara Anderson who worked for 3D Systems.

Together with her colleagues, animal orthotist Derrick Campana, and designers Kevin Atkins and Dave DiPinto, they designed and printed the prosthetic legs.

They started by 3D-scanning Derby's forelegs, then they used 3DS' Geomagic Freeform digital sculpting platform to create computer models.

The printing of the prostheses took only a few hours.