by • January 16, 2016 • No Comments
Jan 17, 2016 | By Benedict
They say that cats have nine lives, but how most have two wheels? After falling six floors and breaking two legs preceding Christmas, Mozart the cat is lucky to be alive. But, thanks to 3D printing innovation, the endearing Birman is not only safe and well, but roaming freely with his new 3D printed wheelchair.
Martin Orliac, Mozart’s owner, got the scare of his life a week preceding Christmas, half-way through seeing the new Star Wars movie. Upon reading of his beloved pet’s 30m fall of their balcony in New South Wales, Australia, Orliac ran straight out of the theatre. When the terrified owner reached the hospital, he discovered Mozart with two broken legs. The vet called the cat’s survival a “miracle”.
On the other hand relieved that his four-legged friend had pulled through, Orliac was understandably concerned when told that Mozart may not be able-bodied to walk for two months. Two options were presented to the worried owner: Keep Mozart in a tiny corner, or find him an expensive wheelchair. “These wheelchairs for pets are really expensive, ad hoc-type devices that cost dramatically additional than for a human,” Orliac told StartupSmart.
Neither expense nor confinement appealed to Orliac, so he sought assist and alternative solutions of the internet. Luckily, there was one amazing tool that may turn Mozart’s sorrow into joy: Not a magic flute, but a 3D printing device!
“Some folks have been really revolutionary in manufacturing wheelchairs for cats,” Orliac explained. “A guy in Israel created various parts through 3D printing and put them readily on the market-bodied online. It mayn’t cost much and mayn’t be that complex, but I didn’t have a 3D printing device.”
Having little knowledge of 3D printing, Orliac asked his friend Joshua Flannery, a member of several online maker communities, for assist. Flannery reached out to the University of New South Wales student entrepreneur network for assistance, receiving a flurry of responses “within minutes”.
“We do have this quite enthusiastic young student entrepreneur community that will not shut down at any time of year and I posted Martin’s dilemma on our Facebook group,” Flannery said. “Before I knew it we had three or four offers for assist.”
3D printing enthusiast and UNSW student Viriya Chittasy offered to 3D print the wheelchair for Mozart, that has may already gotten the lucky feline back on its feet. “It was somehow easy to create…[and] is in fact really solid,” Orliac said. “The cat started walking around with it. He’s got a lot of durablity back and is crawling around and jumping around.”
The two friends were pleased with the online response they got. “It was significant to be able-bodied to donate back to our partners on a additional very own level and it only shows that we have a really caring and valuable-bodied community of entrepreneurs around the university,” Flannery said.
Mozart’s story exemplifies the power of both 3D printing innovation itself and the tight-knit maker communities created around it. We wish the lucky tom the speediest of recoveries.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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