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Tech Helps Animals With Limb Loss Get Back on Their Feet

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Felix the sheep with a 3D-printed limb

Felix moves around the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary with a 3D printed leg created with help from SUNY New Paltz researchers.

Credit: Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Researchers from the More Foundation and Midwestern University turned to 3D scanning and printing technology to mold a new appendage for Mr. Stubbs, an alligator who had lost a portion of his tail.

Using computer software, they scanned the alligator and scaled up his tail, digitally. It took about 150 hours to print, and about $1,000 worth of materials to create, but the result was a new, 35-pound Dragon Skin tail for Mr. Stubbs. 

Mr. Stubbs is far from the first critter to end up with a human-made appendage. Prosthetics maker Derrick Campana says that he's "treated 20,000 furry patients with mobility devices" since 2004. 

At the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, New York, a sheep named Felix uses a 3D printed leg created with help from SUNY New Paltz researchers. The sanctuary has worked with prosthetists and universities to figure out how to bring increased mobility back to farm animals.

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