3D printed leg for a dog – level 3
The owners of six-year-old greyhound Romina who lost her front leg in an accident with a lawnmower thought her stick-chasing days were over, but with the help of 3D printing technology, the pooch can move around almost like normal.
Specialists at a veterinary hospital in Mexico City have created the country’s first artificial prosthetic leg printed using 3D technology. The prosthetic leg is unique, as it allows the dog to preserve its natural anatomy, allowing the joints to move in a similar way as the natural limbs do.
After the accident Romina’s left limb was rebuilt using titanium plates. The plates joined the limb, but she lost all movement in her leg while her right leg was amputated. The team at the hospital worked on a six-month project to create the prototype, select the appropriate materials and design the prosthetic limb system for Romina.
The new limb will take some getting used to and when she has adapted, the final prosthetic will be designed in aluminium, which will be coated in a skin-like material.
And this is just the beginning – doctors at the veterinary hospital said they will soon be able to design prosthetics for other species such as turtles and crocodiles.
Difficult words: pooch (a dog), artificial (made by people), prosthetic leg (a leg made by people which you use instead of your original leg), titanium (a strong metal), prototype (an early version of something).
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