It was only a short matter of time the breakthroughs and strides we've made in 3-D printing extended to man's best friend. Derby, a dog born with deformed front legs, can now run and sit upright just like any other pup thanks to a pair of printed prosthetic legs.
These are actually the second pair of prosthetics for Derby. His first set, produced by 3D Systems a year ago, positioned him very close to the ground so he could learn to walk and run without injuring himself. But now Derby was ready for an upgrade. To straighten out his back, engineers first tried to fit him with a larger version of his original prosthetics, but they proved to be too big and bulky for the Husky mix. The 3D Systems team eventually turned to a completely different printing process, laser sintering, that would provide the same bend and flexibility. Derby's new, fully redesigned prosthetics offer the same kind of give as an actual knee. Now he can walk and comfortably sit around just like other dogs.
Check out some other animals making the most of their disabilities:
Handicapped animals, disabled animals
Thanks to 3-D printing, this husky just got new legs
French bulldog Billy runs while wearing a medical roll car from 'Rehatechnik fuer Tiere' (medical engineering for animals) in the western town of Witten November 9, 2012. Four-year old Billy, whose hind legs are paralyzed since birth, ran for the first time on Friday with the aid of the roll car. 'Rehatechnik fuer Tiere' owner Marco van den Boom, custom builds a range of roll cars for disabled or infirm dogs and animals, to help aid their mobility or paralysis needs. Picture taken on November 9.
A flamingo, which had its leg amputated, is pictured with its new prosthesis at Sorocaba Zoo in Sorocaba, Brazil, July 1, 2015. The Chilean flamingo was given a specially-made prosthesis after a fracture in the left leg resulted in the bottom portion of the leg needing to be amputated to prevent an infection. Picture taken July 1, 2015.
A handicapped Chihuahua dog is dressed up as a taco truck during that covers his harness, during the 4th annual 'Running of the Chihuahuas' in Washington, DC on May 3, 2015. The annual Chihuahua event marks the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo celebrated on May 5th.
(MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ten-year-old African Spurred Tortoise "Arava" is seen at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo August 18, 2008. Arava is paralyzed in her back legs and is unable to walk. It is not known how the tortoise got paralyzed. After veterinarians were unable to restore the use of her legs, they attached wheels to help her manoeuvre. According to Shmulik Yedvav, a zoological curator at the zoo, everyday for a few hours, Arava is attached to the wheels, and is moving in the enclosure in an almost normal way.
Hoppa, a four-year-old mixed breed dog born without front legs, uses a prosthetic device to walk outside in the central Israeli city of Tel Aviv February 28, 2010. The device was invented especially for Hoppa by a animal-loving art student, who hopes his wheeling device will improve the lives of pets born with abnormalities or with amputated limbs.
Fuji, a female bottlenose dolphin, swims using her artificial tail at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Motobu town, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa July 8, 2007, a day after a movie of the dolphin entitled "Dolphin Blue" opened in theatres in Japan. Fuji, which lost 75 percent of her tail due to an unknown disease in 2002, can swim faster and jump higher using the artificial rubber tail, which is believed to be the world's first artificial fin for a dolphin, an aquarium official said.
A handicapped dog plays at Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals 'BETA' charitable organization K9 shelter in the village of Monteverde east of Beirut on September 15, 2010. BETA has the only K9 shelter in Lebanon and it is the only one which has a non-kill policy in the Middle-East. The dogs picked up from the streets, or abused by their owners wait at the shelter for adoption.
(JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
Handicapped cat 'Brigitta' uses her walking frame on April 27, 2013 in Celle, central Germany. 'Brigitta' is no more able to move her hind legs since she was wounded by an air rifle. A supporter of an aid organization for stray animals was so touched by Brigitta's fate that she decided to bring the animal from Bulgaria to Celle and to have built the walker.
(HOLGER HOLLEMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
Pablo (R), a Chihuahua missing its front legs, lays next to his sister Venus in Port Washington, New York, May 21, 2007. Three Chihuahuas, each missing their front legs, have been given a chance at life by the North Shore Animal League America. The organization, the world's largest no-kill rescue and adoption group, is housing them with foster parents until they are adopted, and will also pay for their medical fees.
This picture taken on March 16, 2015 shows 8 month old cat Hei Hudie meaning 'black butterfly' sniffing cat food as it stands with a special walking aid in a pet hospital in China's southwest Chongqing municipality. With the help of some good Samaritans, Hei Hudie had four surgeries within five months after it fell from the tenth floor of a building, and finally managed to live on with both of its hind legs disabled. Doctors equiped the cat with a special wheelchair to help it walk, local media reported.
A Yorkshire Terrier named Hope shows off her uni-wheel attached to a doggie vest in Longmont, Colorado April 21, 2013. Hope is missing one limb and is able to walk with the wheel attachment. Picture taken April 21, 2013.
Jenny Brown, 37 with her goat Albie at a park in New York City. Jenny brown suffered from bone cancer at the age of ten and lost her leg. She has been fitted with a prosthetic leg and now runs an animal sanctuary in new york. Albie, the goat was brought to her after he did a 'butch and sundance' style escape from a new york abbatoir, badly injuring his leg on wire in the escape. Vets tried to save his leg but they couldn't, so Mrs Brown asked the same doctor who made her a prosthetic leg to make albie one too.
(Photo by Worldwide Features / Barcroft Me / Getty Images)
Paraplegic dogs play at Pescadores beach in Chorrillos, Lima, September 7, 2015. Sara Moran has an animal shelter called Milagros Perrunos where she cares for stray dogs and shelters dogs injured from traffic accidents or domestic abuses. With donations and raffling, Moran purchases wheelchairs, food and medical treatment for the dogs at her shelter in Chorrillos. Picture taken September 7, 2015.
A paralyzed rabbit sprints through at the streets of Eskisehir, a city in northwestern Turkey, with assistance from a special cart, on October 28, 2014. Eating too much carrot caused intestinal obstruction and paralyzed legs of the rabbit.
(Photo by Sinan Balcikoca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A seagull braces from the cold as it stands with only one leg in the snow in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, February 24, 2005. A slow-moving snow storm is expected to dump 3-to-5 inches of snow for the D.C. area today, with a winter storm warning in effect.
An activist of an Ukrainian animal rights organization walk two disabled dogs during an International march and a rally called FIRE PLAY in Kiev on March 31, 2012. Protesters demanded to stop killing of the stray dogs by the communal services under the pretext of preparation for EURO-2012. The marches took places in the fourteen Ukrainian cities and were supported by the activists in France, Germany, Austria, Italia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Greece, Russia and others.
(SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
A blind giraffe called "Hope" (top) licks another giraffe at Sydney's Taronga Zoo September 28, 2005 while awaiting her feeding time. The 22-year-old giraffe was not born blind, but in recent years has lost her sight, said zoo officials.
(STR New / Reuters)
A disabled dog outfitted with a wheelchair walks at an animal rescue center on July 12, 2008 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. The center has adopted over 100 stray dogs and cats from quake-struck areas. Those who were hurt or disabled are outfitted with a cart to help support they're body and make them mobile. Many people have stepped forward to adopt the pets and temporary shelters were built to house the animals until their owners come to retrieve them.
(Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
Oscar, a rescued Chihuahua-mix wheelchair dog, poses as Max from 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas' at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on October 20, 2012 in New York City. Hundreds of dog owners festooned their pets for the annual event, the largest of its kind in the United States.