Holly is benefitting from a 3D printed horseshoe.
Holly is benefitting from a 3D printed horseshoe.
The 3D printed horseshoe, especially designed for a lame foot.
The 3D printed horseshoe, especially designed for a lame foot.

This follows the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)'s manufacture of a 3D printed horseshoe for a racehorse in October.

The horseshoe has been fitted to a horse suffering from Laminitis, which affects the attachment between the hoof and bone, causing pain and inflammation.

Dr Luke Wells-Smith from the Equine Podiatry and Lameness Centre said his team saw the 3D printed shoe CSIRO built for a race horse earlier this year and started to think about using 3D printing to rehabilitate lame horses.

"The new shoes will work to redistribute weight away from the painful areas of the laminitic foot and give Holly, and horses like her, the chance to recover," he said. "Many attempts have been made in the past to cure laminitis but it’s the 3D scanning and design part of this process that is so exciting to us.

"Christmas is looking a lot merrier for Holly this year. She should be walking normally and without pain in just a few weeks," he added.

CSIRO's 3D printing expert, John Barnes, said scanning the hoof would allow them to manufacture a shoe that is the ‘perfect fit’ for these complicated foot diseases, giving the horse the best possible chance for rehabilitation.

"We know that 3D printing has the potential to create so many advanced biomedical products, but rehabilitation of horses has been a completely new area of work for CSIRO. "We’re glad that this technology is opening so many doors and is now helping to aid the rehab process for these animals and get them walking comfortably again," he said.