3D Printing Helps Blind Dog Walk Around

What's Ahead for 3D Printing in 2020 | IndustryWeek

The ability to construct a three dimensional object from a digital object is quite fascinating and a bit uncomfortable. While the idea of utilizing CAD models to create objects is incredible, it also provides an uncertain feeling about how dependent society will become on technology in the future. After all, mankind has already become dependent on 3D printing to produce things such as spacecrafts and houses. While these objects may lead to negative results, this new use of 3D printing by Amateur designer Chad Lalande has only proved beneficial.

Using both Creality Ender 5 Printer and 3D printing, Lalande has managed to build a safety hoop for his blind 18 year old Pomeranian dog Sierra to move around the house safely. The device hooks to her harness and around her face, keeping her from banging into walls and doorframes. This hoop is protected by a second, larger hoop and has three slots at the back to attach further harnesses if necessary.

Lalande’s reasoning for this device was simple: “I just saw a need and went about solving that need”. However, according to Lalande, this was not his first experience helping dogs. “There was a time when my sister’s dog started having trouble walking”, he explains. “He was struggling to lift his feet so much that he would often trip over them. Therefore, I made a set of boots that attached to his harness via electric bands. I just wanted to give him a little assistance every step”.

Sierra’s safety hoop has been a success according to Lalande’s studies. She has been able to run around as she pleases without banging herself. The only caveat, however, is that the hoop blocks her from food and water. Therefore, the device must be removed periodically throughout the day. Also, according to Lalande, “Sierra definitely needs to get used to the hoop. Thankfully, she complains about it less now!”

While anti-collision hoops are available on the market, some are priced for almost $400, and others are not even the right size. Therefore, Lalande is pleased to use 3D printing to help her own dog and may even consider making a living helping other’s pets. “Sierra is 18 years old, so she may not be around much longer. But if I could make her more comfortable in the time she has left, all the better!”

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