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3D Printed Paws Help Derby the Dog Reach His Full Height

Engineering is an iterative process, as Tara Anderson and her team at 3D Systems know well. Anderson and her colleagues have been iterating upon a very specialized project: a set of legs for Derby, a husky mix with deformed front legs. With the help of assistive prosthetics, Derby can balance on his front paws well enough to walk, and even run — but there were still some problems with the initial designs.

The other designs didn’t seem as comfortable for Derby to wear, according to Anderson:

It was like he had balloons on his elbows. He was just flopping them out to the side, like, “I don’t really know what you want me to do.” It was watching him, and going, “Well, that design doesn’t work. Next one!”

Derby’s latest pair of paws look like they suit him a lot better, as evidenced in the video above. The new legs still mimic the springiness of a knee, but they’re narrower and they look more comfortable for Derby to run, sit, and stand in. Props to the engineering team for continuing to work out the kinks so as to ensure the final product would be as practical and comfortable as possible!

(via Laughing Squid)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (