In recent years, whether in medical equipment or clinical applications, the digital transformation brought by 3D printing technology has milestone significance. However, few people have noticed that 3D printing also plays an important role in animal medical treatment.
Vaughan Ellis, the founder of Pegasus shoeing in Australia, is a farmer who has been working as a farrier for 40 years. He uses 3D printing technology to design and produce innovative horseshoe clogs made of nylon and carbon fiber, to replace traditional horseshoes.
Horseshoes are a product derived from people's domestication of horses. Its main function is to protect horseshoes, delay the wear of horseshoes. At the same time, it provides auxiliary treatment to horses with diseased horseshoes and legs or some body structure problems. The current common treatment plan is to nail the customized horseshoe directly to the horse hoof.
For example, laminitis is a very common but extremely painful and even disabling disease for horses. There are a large number of horses in the world suffering from this disease every day. Laminitis affects the tissues of the hoof wall and the metacarpal bones, causing horses' metacarpal bones to sink or rotate under pressure, causing them unbearable pain. Horses suffering from laminitis need to be treated with a heart-shaped chain-tail shoe, but this is very harmful to them.
In order to improve this situation and alleviate the pain of horses, Vaughan Ellis and his team finally decided to use horseshoe clogs produced by 3D printing technology to replace traditional horseshoes with the advice of farriers, veterinarians, and engineers.
Designer Zack Mclntyre said: "We use X-ray and circumference mode to scan the horse hoof and accurately record the measurements to ensure the success of disease recovery. Then, we input these measurement data into the CAD, and design a suitable clog and print out the model with nylon carbon fiber materials. The reason why nylon fiber is chosen is that it is the only durable material suitable for horses."
Zack Mclntyre also said: “Farriers put dental printing materials under the hoof nails to protect horse’s metacarpal bones. With the addition of barbs around the 3D printing horse clogs, farriers can use glass fiber casting tape to attach the clogs to the horse's hoof. This is painless compared to the traditional method attached to the farrier technique.”
Now they have designed 240 kinds of standard horseshoe clog series, including 5 sets that can be used to treat horse diseases. Compared with traditional horseshoes, 3D printed horseshoe clogs are lighter, more durable, easy to replace, and more efficient in production. It was quickly accepted by customers after its launch, and more than 120 sets have been sold.
Pegasus shoeing's official website is convenient for customers to consult and obtain orders. Recently, Vaughan Ellis, the founder of Pegasus shoeing, is making further investments in printing equipment, horseshoe clog design and researchers in order to design and print more 3D innovative hoof care products to help more horses.
The implementation of this treatment also benefits from the support of 3D printing technology. Zack is very satisfied with the production efficiency and output of Flashforge Creator 3. He said: "Creator 3 can print horseshoe clogs within 10 hours, and it has been printed for nearly 1,000 hours." In addition to Creator 3, they also have two Guider 2S for printing support.
While exploring the treatment and rehabilitation of horses, the Pegasus shoeing organization gradually improved the digital process of 3D printing horseshoe clog manufacturing. This firstly made people focus on this little-known application of 3D printed horseshoe clogs.
Flashforge is very happy with the role played by 3D printing technology in animal medical treatment and really pleased the technology effectively helps animals treat diseases. Flashforge will continue working to extend the innovation of 3D printing technology, so as to provide more solutions for all walks of life.