Teens build wheelchair for amputee kitten with 3D printer
Published Thursday, September 24, 2015 2:38PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 24, 2015 4:13PM PDT
A tiny amputee kitten is being given a new lease on life thanks to some clever students who turned to technology to solve the problem.
Feral feline Cassidy was found nearly starved in the woods in Langley over the summer. Badly injured in an accident, he lost both of his back legs to an infection and ended up in the care of the volunteer-run TinyKittens Society.
Now 11-weeks-old, Cassidy’s daily life is documented on the charity’s webcams, and a secretary at Walnut Grove Secondary School found the Facebook page and told one of the teachers.
That’s when two Grade 12 students, Josh Messmer and Isaiah Walker, set to work designing a kind of wheelchair to help the kitten get around.
Using modeling software and their school’s 3D printer, the duo created a mobility device within a week, and tried it out for the first time Wednesday.
After some minor tweaking of the height the feline will start using it permanently.
"They really are giving Cassidy a second chance to have a really great life,” said Shelly Roche of the TinyKittens Society.
“Having a wheelchair is going to give him independence and be great for his spirit.”
The device took about six hours to create from design to prototype, and they can easily make new parts to fit Cassidy as he grows.
Printed prosthetics are becoming more common for all sorts of animals, and have recently been used to create a turtle shell and legs for disabled dogs.
You can follow Cassidy’s journey on the society’s live webcams.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Penny Daflos