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Pet wheelchair helps Aussie cat and is reinterpreted to try help a Bulgarian deer!

February 1, 2016

An amazing event a couple of weeks ago vividly illustrated to me the immense power of sharing knowledge online.

Remember the pet wheelchair I designed for Benji the cat last year?

You might recall that after completing the project, I uploaded the 3D files to thingieverse.

In August last year (2015), I was contacted by a guy from Australia regarding the wheelchair. He asked me to adapt my design to work with 12mm aluminum bars, which are more common and easier to get in Australia. He said there’s a project he’s working on that could use this design at a local vet clinic. I added a 12mm version to Thingieverse and forgot about it for the next 5 months.

But two weeks ago, he posted a comment in the Thingieverse page, and told me this design was used to help a cat called Mozart recover from serious fractures in his hind legs!

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Mozart the cat trying out the 3D printed wheelchair. Photo: Martin Orliac.

Apparently, the story even got published in the Sydney Morning Herald. How cool is that?

 

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The finished wheelchair. Looks far nicer than the one I built for Benji! Photo: Martin Orliac.

 

Why stop there?

After I posted about this on Facebook, I was contacted by Leeron, an activist who lives in Bulgaria and is involved with rehabilitating a baby deer called Kinta. The poor thing got infected with Tetanus and lost control over his hind legs, and is now undergoing physiotherapy. But progress seems really slow via standard physiotherapy, so Leeron wants to use a wheelchair to help Kinta learn to walk again, and asked if I could help.

Kinta

Kinta the baby deer. Poor thing got infected with Tetanus and lost control over his hind legs.

I opened Blender, downloaded a deer model from BlendSwap and started sketching. This time, I decided to use aluminum pipes with a circular profile for the main frame instead of rectangular bars, since a deer is likely to weigh a lot more than a cat and the added strength per weight ratio will be useful.

Here are some of the sketches I sent Liron:

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The keen eyed blenderheads among you will likely notice the quick and dirty shading combined with freestyle, to generate clear lines for the sketches.

 

Waiting for updates

Leeron and co. already started gathering materials for the build. I’m anxious to hear how it goes, and will likely try to provide them with other designs if this one proves inadequate. I’ll update here when I learn more, and hopefully get good news with pics of the cute little critter with the wheelchair (or better yet -walking after rehabilitation).

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From → 3D Printing, Making

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