We can’t resist a heartwarming cat story, especially when it has a technology angle to it. In this case, IFLScience points us to a story from GlobalNews.ca about a disabled feral kitten named Cassidy who was taken in and given a chance to walk thanks to a 3D printed wheelchair created by a pair of high school students.
Students Josh Messmer and Isaiah Walker heard about a notice on Facebook from non-profit cat sanctuary Tiny Kittens that asked for help in building some kind of sling or wheelchair to help make a disabled kitten’s life easier. The teacher who showed them the notice started drawing up designs for building a device that could support the kitten and the students took over the project from there and used the school’s 3D printer to build a custom wheelchair designed just for the kitten.
“We were trying to think of how other people have done it, obviously not with 3D printers,” Walker explained. “With printing it went through two designs and with modeling it went through a couple of phases.”
When he’s strapped into the wheelchair, Cassidy can use his front legs to motor himself around, as you can see in the adorable video below.
While it’s obviously not as good as having his hind legs back, it’s a major improvement from where he was before. The rise of 3D printing technology also gives hope for better lives for lots of disabled animals and we hope these students are willing to share their blueprints for this device with other animal shelters.