The 3D printer is already being used to make affordable prosthetic limbs for humans, but what about our four-legged friends, who find themselves on three or fewer legs? This is Rylee, a two-year old Great Pyrenees who lost her paw before arriving at Dirk’s Fund Rescue is St Louis, where funds are being raised to get her a 3D printed prosthetic version.
Rylee’s new paw will be the work of the St Louis Science Center’s youth division, a program made to help get young people more interested in science. The paw will be created by using an image of Rylee’s left paw, which will be adjusted for her right side, before being printed out on a 3D printer. The help came after a post on Dirk’s Fund Rescue Facebook page attracted the attention of a local parent, who’s son just happened to be looking for a good 3D printing project at the Science Center.
Related: Watch Robert Downey Jr. give a young fan a 3D printed Iron Man prosthetic arm
How Rylee lost her paw in the first place isn’t known, although Bob Tillay, the director of Dirk’s Fund Rescue, believes it got cut off in a trap. She was found by a farmer. Tally went on to talk about how animals adjust better to prosthetic limbs than humans do, saying “They don’t have the same hang ups we do, they’ll put that thing on and rock!”
The 3D-printed paw won’t be the first of its kind, and there have been cases where dogs have needed four prosthetic limbs in the past. It’s not only dogs that benefit from prosthetic technology either. Last year, a rare Sandhill Crane was given a long prosthetic leg after being severely wounded by a stray golf ball.
Going back to Rylee, once the paw has been made, and she’s happy with the fitting, she’ll be put up for adoption. We have a feeling there will be plenty of prospective new owners for this adorable, and very lucky dog.