A 3D-printed wheelchair is helping a puppy born without his two front legs get a rolling start to life.
Tumbles was born in early October without its front limbs, and was taken in at two weeks of age by non-profit organisation Friends of Shelter Dogs in Ohio, whose rescue coordinator Karen Pilcher serves as the pup’s foster mother.
While Tumbles had already started to adapt by moving with his nose and back legs, a veterinarian had recommended the pup be fitted for a cart so he could build back leg muscle more naturally.
After a photo of the pup was posted to Facebook, the Ohio University Innovation Centre offered to helped print a wheelchair designed by one of the shelter’s volunteers.
The wheelchair took about 14 hours to be printed.
“Our main goal [was] to get him off the ground. The second thing is to get him used to it,” Innovation Centre lab director Joe Jollick told ABC News in the US.
Tumbles will be assisted by a group of physical therapists to help him acclimatise to the set of wheels, with another wheelchair fitting due this week.
The Innovation Centre said it would continue to keep Tumbles equipped with free wheels for the rest of his life.
“This is just letting people know that [3D printing] can be used for just about anything,” Dr Jollick said.