We collaborated with veterinarians to create the first 3D printed horseshoe to put an end to chronic foot disease.
Finding a more effective treatment for Laminitis
Hooved animals such as horses can suffer from a debilitating disease called Laminitis, which affects the attachment between the hoof and bone, causing pain and inflammation.
Veterinarians from the Equine Podiatry and Lameness Centre in Victoria diagnose Laminitis and develop treatment and management plans for horses.
After hearing about a 3D printed horseshoe we developed for a racehorse, the team at the centre saw an opportunity to use 3D printing to rehabilitate lame horses.
Custom designing a shoe that can heal
The centre approached us with their ideas and together we investigated the opportunity to 3D print a shoe that could act as an orthotic.
We used a 3D scanner to take an accurate picture of a horse's Laminitis-affected hoof and then customised a 3D printed shoe that would support the hoof and allow it to heal.
These new shoes redistribute weight away from the painful areas of the laminitic foot to give horses a better chance to recover.
A new biomedical application
These new shoes could hold the key to curing Laminitis, thanks to the ability to tailor the shoe's design to the individual horse.
It's a good example of how 3D printing technology is opening doors for companies to manufacture new biomedical products.
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