3D printing is very much a reality. As the technology becomes cheaper and easier 3D printing will become more plentiful and common in our everyday lives. 3D printing technology that will change our world and the ways that we interact with it. Let’s take a closer look at one of the amazing 3D printing feats that have been accomplished.
A Broken Face
Near the end of 2017, a puppy named Loca was viciously attacked by another dog and suffered severe injuries to her head. Lola had a fractured cheekbone and jawbone as well as serious damage to her joint that connects the jaw to the skull (known as TMJ). It was a bleak moment for Loca and her family. Yet, in this darkness, Loca’s veterinary team saw an opportunity to try a new method of healing.
Loca’s veterinary hospital was currently working with the engineering department at UC-Davis to create a 3D printed exoskeleton mask designed to treat and mend serious facial fractures. The name of the project is “Exo-K9 Exoskeleton”. The idea behind this concept works much in the same way that a traditional cast would work for a broken arm or leg. The idea is to hold the bones in place so that they can properly heal themselves.
For Loca, this meant there was hope. The engineers at the university scanned her head and 3D printed a mask custom fit to her face’s dimensions. Loca was the very first dog to try out the brand new Exo-K9 Exoskeleton. Furthermore, her progress has been good and she has healed quite nicely in the months that have followed her injuries.
Hence, Loca’s story is an incredible example of how 3D printing feats are changing the world we live in for the better.