Pony gets custom 3D-printed ‘horse-thotic’ shoes for Christmas

3D-printed shoes custom-fit to your horse may be the key to stamping out chronic lameness issues.

[top image: CSIRO]

Remember the superlight 3D-printed racing shoes created just a few months ago? Well, the scientists of Australia’s national science research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, are at it again — this time, with a set of custom-printed ‘horse-thotic’ shoes for a pony with laminitis.

Holly the 10-year-old pony had been suffering from laminitis for three years, and when vet and farrier Dr. Luke Wells-Smith heard about the 3D-printed racing shoes, he realized an additional use for the technology — customized horseshoes mapped out with a 3D scanner and printed on-demand to treat soundness issues.

“We wanted a shoe that gave that foot some elevation at the heel, but we also wanted it to break over easy so when the horse steps, there’s a nice, fluid, rolling motion. When we looked at the X-ray, looked at the horse, and designed the shoe, it was all around these parameters.”

3d printed shoe

Farriers use a 3D scanner to get a custom blueprint of Holly’s hoof

[Youtube: CSIRO]

Laminitis is hard and often expensive to treat, especially for cases like Holly’s where it has gone on for so long. However, Dr. Wells-Smith is positive on Holly’s prognosis.

“Christmas is looking a lot merrier for Holly this year. She should be walking normally and without pain in just a few weeks,” said Dr. Wells-Smith.

Could this mark a new era of customized shoes to help sporthorses perform their best, or to rehabilitate hoof issues? The report did not specify the cost of Holly’s shoes, but if the $600 set of 3D-printed racing shoes are any indication, they probably didn’t come cheap. However, as 3D printing becomes faster and more mainstream, one day your farrier might unveil a scanner and 3D printer in the back of his truck.

For more on the story, see CSIRO’s video on Youtube:

Go Riding.


MORE PLEASE! If you liked this post, check out…



Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *