3D Printing to the Rescue!

11 Animals Helped Out by 3D Printed Prostheses

3d printed prostheses

What do animals and 3D printing have in common? Not only does 3D printing have many uses in the human world, but the animal kingdom has also had its fair share of 3D printed prostheses. Below are some of the cutest ways that 3D printing has made a difference!

1. TurboRoo the Chihuahua

In 2014, Turbo was adopted by Ashley and Ray. He was four weeks old and born without his front legs. So his owners built him a little cart out of toy parts. However, Turbo got a lot of attention from the media that caught the attention of an aerospace engineer in San Diego who helped out with 3D printed prostheses. He made him this little cart, turning Turbo into TurboRoo, the first ever puppy to get 3D-printed wheels!

2. Derby the Dog

Derby was also born with malformed front legs and no front paws. Luckily for him, his owner was an employee at 3D design and printing company 3D Systems. She helped design a set of 3D printed prosthetic front legs which mean he can move around in comfort and run! Check out the sweet video above to see him in action!

3. Teeny Tumbles


As reported by All3DP in the past, Friends of the Shelter Dogs 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 their mother. A 3D printed cart was created thanks to a team of makers at the Ohio University Innovation Centre to help little Tumbles walk. So cute!

4. French Bulldog Anne Murray Gets A Wheelchair


Wheelchairs for domestic animals are very expensive and often inaccessible to many pet owners. This project empowers individuals to build their pet’s wheelchair with the combination of 3D printing and traditional making. It consists of roller blade wheels, standard skate bearings, screws, acrylic tubing, straps, and 3D printed joint pieces.

The wheelchair project started as a design for Anne Murray, a 7-year-old French Bulldog. Maker Rickee made sure that the wheelchair accurately reflected her personality as described by her very caring owner Martha J. It was printed in bright purple and included glitter in the clear acrylic tubing used to frame the design.

5. Injured Sea Turtle Gets His Bite Back

Breaking away from the dog theme, is Akut-3! In 2014, this large loggerhead turtle suffered from an injury from a boat’s propeller. His jaw was fractured, and he lost almost 60 percent of both the upper and lower jaw on the right side of his face. Thankfully, a sea turtle rehabilitation center helped him out. In 2015, Akut-3’s 3D printed prosthetic was designed using 3D models of the turtle’s face for a better fit.

6. Vincent the Cat


Vincent has a very rare condition which meant he was born without rear tibias. Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, from Iowa State University, decided to help him out by building a pair of usable legs, using 3D modeling and printing, which were then implanted into his legs. Check out the full article here.

7. Buttercup The Duck

Buttercup was born in 2012 with his left foot backwards meaning he found it very difficult to move around. Luckily for him, he moved to Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary. His damaged foot was amputated, and a new one made thanks to 3D printing. Watch him swim around in the video above!

8. Bubbles the Dachshund


Back to dogs, this little puppy was born without her front legs. Her owners decided to create a wheelchair to help her get around easily. They used carbon fiber combined with 3D printed parts and even bits borrowed from a model airplane! If you have a similar problem and fancy checking out the design, they’ve made it available online to download on Thingiverse.

9. Ozzie the Goose


Ozzie needed help when his leg was broken and was amputated at the joint. South African Sue Burger came to the rescue and took care of him throughout his ordeal. The goose was measured by the team at BunnyCorp, who deal with advanced CAD modelling and digital sculpting for 3D printing, in Cape Town to make sure his stump had the perfect fit.

10. Tieta the Toucan


Tieta was rescued in Brazil from an illegal animal seller with half of her upper beak missing! A collaboration was formed to work on a prosthesis between the wildlife preservation group Instituto Vida Livre and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Creating the prosthesis was an intensive process. Designers used a taxidermy toucan as a model and had to print several prototypes to create a lightweight final design. This then had a coat of nontoxic varnish and a castor-oil-based polymer for durability.

11. Dudley the Duck


Last but not least, fluffy little Dudley the duck was attacked by a chicken. He was just a duckling when this happened but was left without a leg. Fortunately for him, his rescuers made a new leg by 3D printing a prosthesis so he could move around easily!