3D printed prosthesis

3D Printed Puppy Wheelchair for Teeny Tumbles

Puppy wheelchair

3D printing is coming to the rescue of yet another domestic animal, this time with the use of a cart.

Friends of the Shelter Dogs recently rescued a tiny puppy who was born without his front legs. He was around two weeks old when they rescued him from the rest of the litter that was being kept outside with his mother.

Friends of the Shelter Dogs are a non-profit organization “dedicated to the rescue and welfare of dogs at the Athens County Dog Shelter”. They said: “We just didn’t feel he would survive the cold temperatures and not be pushed away from feeding by his litter mates. We wanted to save the whole family but could only get this little guy.”

Even though he has already started to adapt and is able to scooch around using his nose and back legs, the vet recommended that something should be done to strengthen his back legs.tumbles 2

And so, a 3D printed cart was created thanks to a team of makers at the Ohio University Innovation Centre. They built a 3D printed wheelchair for the disabled puppy who has now been named Tumbles.

The Innovation Centre considered their options, before deciding that 3D printing was the best method of creating a custom-made puppy wheelchair. The team began work, and the wheelchair was ready for use after a 14 hour 3D printing session.

Karen Pilcher, an Athens resident who is currently looking after Tumbles, said the puppy was seen by a vet earlier this week. The professional recorded that Tumbles now weighs “a perfectly healthy” 1 1/2 pounds, Pilcher said. He is being bottle fed and is just now starting to eat a little bit on his own.

Unfortunately for any Ohio residents, Tumbles is not currently available for adoption. But perhaps the interest generated by the viral video which shows why Tumbles received his name will create a greater number of makers looking to assist with the 3D printing project and a community who can help disabled puppies!