Grab some tissues: An adorable dog named Derby, born with deformed front legs, has been given a set of 3-D printed prosthetics. And these custom-made legs, which he can rock back and forth on (to keep him from getting stuck in the dirt) don't just help him walk more easily. With his new legs, he can run.
Derby had the good fortune of being fostered by a woman who knows all about 3-D printing. Tara Anderson works for the company 3D Systems, and she knew that custom prosthetics made with this technology are a more practical choice than traditional prosthetics.
3-D printing has already caused quite a stir in the market for human artificial limbs — especially for kids. Because scans of the patient's anatomy can be loaded into a computer and saved, they don't need to go through the process of getting a new mold every time they grow. And while 3-D printing is far from being a perfect production process, it's still a whole lot cheaper than traditional methods.
The company is certainly getting some great press from their work on Derby. It's darn near impossible not to be moved by (and thrilled for) this pup.
"He runs with [my wife] and I every day, at least two to three miles,” Dom Portanova, Derby's adoptive owner, said in a statement. “When I saw him sprinting like that on his new legs, it was just amazing.”