Students of the i3 Academy at the Flagler Palm Coast High School are designing prosthetics, for a three-legged dog named Champ, to be printed from an in-house 3D Printer.
Throughout recent history many inventions have spawned from science fiction movies and novels. Legend has it that the inspiration for the cell phone came from the fictitious television show Star Trek. “Motorola’s director of research and development, Martin Cooper, designed the first mobile phone, released in the ‘70s, similar to that of the phones on ‘Star Trek,’” quoted from toptenz.net.
“The figure J prosthetic was designed based off the movie “Blade Runner.” The curved surface will act as a spring system and will help Champ be more agile.”
ANDREW BIGLER, a junior at FPC
Flagler Palm Coast High School students taking Courtney Vandebunte’s Anatomy of Design class are deriving innovative ideas to create a working prosthetic leg from high-action movies such as “Blade Runner” and “Fury.”
The class recently acquired three 3D Printers through grants, and Mrs. Vandebunte has found a way for her students to utilize the printers while making a significant impact on one dog’s life.
After calling around to every humane society in the state, Vandebunte was put in contact with a family from Green Cove Springs. The owners Yaso and Dave Sandoval adopted a 3-year-old German Shepherd mixed dog named Champ, after it was tragically struck by a vehicle. The car strike resulted in the loss of the dog’s entire front left leg.
The class split into groups of three or four to brainstorm on various prosthetics that could be printed right there in the classroom. In order to make the prosthetics as accurate as possible, the class held an Ask an Expert Day in order to meet Champ and his owners, as well as a physical therapist, veterinarian and three different 3D Printing experts. Champs measurements were taken, and designs were discussed.
One group came up with an idea to make a custom fit harness, that will be hand sewn, then attach to a 3D Printed shoulder piece. In order to maximize their efforts, four of the classes separate groups joined to make one “super-group.” Each of the super-groups prosthetic will be designed to screw onto the shoulder piece making it possible to easily switch out the different prosthetics.
“The figure J prosthetic was designed based off the movie “Blade Runner,” said Andrew Bigler, a junior at FPC. “The curved surface will act as a spring system and will help Champ be more agile. We are hoping to print the final rendition out of Ninja Flex material, so the prosthetic will not have as harsh of an impact when he is running.”
Another group got inspiration from an article they read on a different dog named Derby. Derby was given a prosthetic that literally looked like the figure 8. The students took the idea and altered the finished product by attaching it to the shoulder harness with an embedded spring. The design is meant to help Champ walk freely down sidewalks and roadways.
The student’s final renditions will be completed by the end of March. Champ is scheduled to come visit the students and try on all of the different prosthetics in search of the perfect fit. The Sandoval’s will choose one of the designs to take back home.