Pawsthetics is a service/company that offers fully customised prostheses for pets designed by Kristina Drmic, final year student, as part of a major project. After conducting interviews with prosthetists, veterinary medicine students and designers for health, a family in Zagreb, Croatia, was contacted to see if they were interested in a prosthesis to be designed for their three-legged dog Leyla. The owners were more than happy to participate and a meeting was organised to explain the process and their role in it. Not long after, the owners created a cast of Leyla’s torso which enabled an accurate image of her body later used to design the body jacket. Once the cast arrived in the UK, it was scanned with an accurate 3D scanning software called PolyCam and imported into the Meshmixer, a CAD software used to do post-scanning cleaning and designing. Alongside with the two bottom parts called the tube and the foot, the body jacket was imported as a mesh to a CAD software for advanced manufacturing called nTopology where it was processed and exported for 3D printing. The final product was 3D printed in TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) using the FDM Stratasys 3D printer located at the university. After 13 days of 3D printing, the prosthesis was soaked in an alkaline bath to remove the support. To provide firm fitting, great quality Nylon straps have been added to the body jacket and the whole product has been assembled with rods and screws.
The 3D printed prosthesis based on generative design and Leyla’s 3D scanned body casts have been tested and proven to increase her quality of life and to improve her functional ability in Zagreb, Croatia over the Easter break. Leyla has accepted the prosthesis and treated it as a part of herself once doing her usual activities which was heart-warming to her owners.
3D Printed Prostheses for Pets