More and more, we hear about 3D printed limbs helping animals and humans.
Adding to the list of the advancement of 3D printers and their capabilities, is a cat named Vincent.
3DPrint.com is reporting that Vincent the cat, who was born without rear legs, was built a pair of usable legs via 3D modeling and printing.
The website is reporting that upon first diagnosis that Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh, at Iowa State University, didn't quite know how to help the kitten. Upon closer inspection, though, Dr. Bergh thought the right means of remedy was to try to build Vincent rear legs using 3D modeling and printing.
She did just that, working with the prosthetic company BioMedtrix to build the cat titanium-alloy legs. The 3D printed legs, which resemble tiny crutches, were surgically implanted directly into the cat's femur bones in February 2014. Over time, Vincent's bones grew around the metal.
At three-years-old now, Vincent is functioning quite well and the 3D printed limbs are deemed a success.
"I think this does open the door for us to be able to help other animals that have similar problems," Dr. Bergh told 3DPrint.com. "And even what we've learned just through Vincent's one case, we've actually refined the technique and the implants, so the next cases we do moving forward will be even more successful."
Bergh estimates less than 25 animals around the world to have undergone a procedure similar to Vincent's, but as she mentioned, this opens the doors to animals in similar predicaments, or ones who lose limbs, to continue having productive lives ... all with the help of a 3D printer.