3D printing on its own is pretty amazing. Add in pets and the possibilities become extremely interesting.
Here’s a look at some ways 3D printing is being used when it comes to our furry friends:
- Lifelike recreations: Some companies are now offering 3D printing of models of pets.
GravityB, a Calgary-based studio, for example, creates figurines from images captured in a scanning booth called “The Coppy Machine.” The machine was actually inspired in part by a dog named Coppy (Copernicus), who was the model for the company’s first successful 3D print. Copernicus has, sadly, since passed away, but, as part of Coppy’s posthumous legacy, figurines are called “Coppies.”
Dogs and cat Coppies start at $150. Coppies of people (including families) can be created too, as can figurines of a person with their pet.
The capture process can be seen in this video from GravityB’s website:
Other companies, such as PetPrints3D, will do 3D printing from photos of pets supplied by a pet owner.
According to iTech Automation, In 2014, Pawsthetics Animal Prosthetics (a non profit) saw an opportunity to help a dog named Turbo who received a 3D printed cart to gain mobility.
“From there, Pawsthetics has utilized 3D CAD, 3D scanning, 3D printing, and even freehand design to develop functional prosthethics for animals including tortoises, cats, and dogs; even some animals in Venezuela and Zimbabwe.”
For more about Pawsthetics, go to http://pawsthetics.com/
One big benefit of 3D prosthethics is the cost. As explained in the following video, a regular prosthetic leg would cost $1500, but the one used for a rescued puppy was only $50.
The video, from the dodo, also shows other examples of dogs receiving prosthethics, noting that another benefit of prosthethics is comfort. A leg Sometimes a cart with doggie wheelchair might be too hard on an animal’s spine, but the prosthethics are more natural and customizable to the size and shape of the animal.
Dogs are not the only animals that benefit from 3D printed prosthethics. In 2015, Sprocket, a kitty living in Scotland, who had a bout of bad luck, being hit by both a car and soon after attacked by a dog, received a 3D printed orthotic to help with mobility and hopefully prevent amputation of a damaged leg.
And, turtles have received new shells via the printing process. One example can be seen in this video from Denver 7.
3) Pet products: According to 3DPRINT.COM, pet products, including toys, hamster wheels, dog bones, scoopers, brushes and bird perches, are all capable of being produced using a 3D printer.
“Even apparel such as dog shoes and ‘cat armor’ can be perfectly tailored to your pet’s size and shape in order to protect them from thorns, weather and other animals.”
As an added benefit for humans, 3DPRINT.COM notes that, “When innovators use 3D printers to manufacture items for pets such as these they may eligible for Research and Development (R&D).”