Tumbles the puppy to use a 3D-printed wheelchair - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Tumbles the puppy to use a 3D-printed wheelchair

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(CBS photo) (CBS photo)
COLUMBUS, OH (CBS) -

A six week old terrier thinks he’s a normal puppy, but he’s not.

Tumbles was born without two things puppies need.

“I've been doing a dog rescue for 32- years,” said Karen Pilcher. “I've never had a dog without two legs before.”

The tiny ball of fur is Pilcher's baby.

“Many places, many people would have put this dog down,” she said.

Thanks to what's happening inside a 3D printer, Tumbles won't be scooching on the floor much longer.

Joe Jollick runs the 3D printing lab at Ohio University.

“This is the first functional prosthetic we've done using this printer," he said.

The "sled " as he called it, came from the head of Brad Reed.

“I ended up drawing this from scratch,” Reed said.

It took 5 hours for the high-tech scanner to lay-down the microscopic plastic beads that will form the wheels, and axel.

It took another 8 hours to build a "U" shaped harness.

“The trickiest part is getting the dog to use it,” Reed said.

The sled will allow Tumbles to lay on the breast plate. His back legs will push the wheels in front.

The first prototype for Tumbles ended up being too big. The next one will be smaller. When it's done he will be able to walk and eat, and when the Velcro bands come off he can sleep like a normal puppy.

As for Tumbles, he's ready to start a new life.

“He's going to get around a lot better,” Pilcher said.

She said it’s thanks to a 3D printer that's giving back what he was born without.

"He's really a fantastic puppy,” Pilcher said.

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