In recent years, 3D printing technology has gained tremendous importance in medicine. The technology is used in both medical equipment and clinical applications. But apart from these, 3D printing also plays an important role in the treatment of animals.
Vaughan Ellis, founder of Pegasus Shoeing Australia, is a farmer with 40 years of experience as a blacksmith. Ellis applied 3D printing technology to design and manufacture innovative nylon and carbon fiber horseshoes for horses.
This 3D printed horseshoe replaced the traditional horseshoes he was using for his animals.
Nailless 3D Printed Horseshoe Pads
The main function of the 3D printed horseshoe is to protect the horse hooves and slow down their wear. At the same time, the shoe is used as an adjunct treatment for horses with sore legs and some structural problems. The current general treatment plan is to nail a custom-fitted horseshoe directly to the foot.
For example, laminitis, a very common ungulate leg disorder, is extremely painful and even disabling in horses. There are many horses around the world suffering from this disease.
Laminitis affects the tissues of the hoof wall and metacarpal bones, causing the metacarpals to drop or rotate under pressure. This leads to unbearable pain. Horses with laminitis are treated with a heart-shaped horseshoe, but this is very harmful and painful.
To improve the situation and alleviate the pain of the animals, Vaughan Ellis and his team, in consultation with other blacksmiths, veterinarians and engineers, developed a horseshoe-shaped 3D printed “clog”.
Designer Zach McIntyre said: “We take x-rays and circumferences, and take all measurements accurately to ensure a successful recovery from the disease. Then we enter this data into a CAD program, design a suitable model and print it out of nylon material with carbon fiber. We chose nylon fiber because it is the only durable material suitable for horses. ”
Zach McIntyre also noted: “Blacksmiths place dental materials under the hooves to protect the metacarpal bones of horses. Thanks to the 3D printed notches around the clogs, you can use fiberglass tape to attach the clog to the hoof. This treatment is painless compared to the traditional method. ”
To date, the company has already developed 240 standard series of horseshoes, including 5 sets that can be used to treat sick horses.
3D Printed Horsehoe Pads
Compared to traditional horseshoes, 3D printed clogs are lighter, more durable, easy to replace, and more efficient to manufacture. The clogs have quickly gained popularity and more than 120 kits have been sold since production started.
At Pegasus Shoeing website, customers can get advice and place orders. Recently, founder Vaughan Ellis has been making additional investments in printing equipment, horseshoe design and research to develop and print even more innovative 3D hoof care products and help more horses.
Thus, 3D printing technology contributes to the introduction of new treatment methods.
Zach is very pleased with the efficiency and performance of Flashforge Creator 3 . He noted: “Creator 3 can print horseshoe clogs in 10 hours, and it already prints almost 1000 hours.” In addition to Creator 3, there are two more Guider 2S to support printing. ”
Through studying the treatment and rehabilitation of horses, Pegasus Shoeing is gradually improving the digital process of making 3 D-printed horseshoes. This is one of the little known applications of 3D printing technology.
Flashforge is very pleased with the role that 3D printing technology is playing in animal care and will continue to innovate in 3D printing to provide more solutions for all walks of life.