3D Printing Helps Dog Run For First Time

Cyber Pup!

Derby is a disabled dog that was born with underdeveloped front limbs. Although he was healthy dog, his disability was the one factor that nearly caused his first owner to put him down. When he wasn’t wanted by his first owners, he was sent to the

rescue shelter in Hillsborough, N.H. That is where he met Tara Anderson, the person who would change Derby’s life forever. Tara is a director at, a company that specializes in 3D printing. 

Tara learned of Derby’s disability and thought there would be a way that she could help him out with his mobility issues. At first, Anderson set Derby up with a wheeled cart to help him get around, and while that was an improvement in his life, Tara knew that her design team at 3D Systems could help make mobility even easier.

Tara’s team soon crafted a set of prosthetic legs that would help Derby move around more naturally. After many attempts, they finally settled on the prosthetics shown below. This model fit Derby’s energetic personality and would give him ultimate range of motion. 

Even before the prosthetics were complete, Derby received the greatest gift a dog could ask for: a home. After the Portanova family adopted him, the day finally came for him to try his new legs, and for the first time ever he was able to run.

“It was incredible and emotional the first time we saw him run on his new legs. Incredible because it was his very first time on them and emotional because he was so excited to be running,” said his owner Sherry Portanova.

“Derby was born with this deformity so he never really knew any different; he was a happy dog,” says Sherry. “However, his new legs have allowed him to run on concrete, play with other dogs and overall be more mobile.”

Here is the footage of Derby before and after his prosthetics below: