While additive manufacturing (AM) has been used to produce prosthetics for humans and animals, there have yet to be many dedicated businesses for applying the technology strictly to making them for scaly and furry friends. Wimba, a Krakow, Poland-based startup, is attempting to change that and hopes to bring pet prosthetics to veterinary offices everywhere. If successful, the firm could help animals regain mobility and significantly shorten the lead time to manufacture medical devices for animals.
Wimba was founded by two brothers, Franciszek and Grzegorz Kosch, who are no strangers to 3D printed prosthetics. Previously, the pair founded Glaze Prosthetics, a company dedicated to light, durable, and personalized arm prosthetics. The brothers appear to have taken a lot of the technology they developed for Glaze and adapted it for Wimba’s needs.
The Kosch brothers still use an HP Multi Jet Fusion system to print devices, and even translated their “I AM” app for human prosthetics into WimbaSCAN for animals. Using a smartphone, the app is meant to accurately measure a pet’s limbs in a matter of minutes. The results are then used to design the ideal prosthetic to restore the creature’s mobility. Wimba has even developed interchangeable “WimbaTOKENs” that can stabilize the joints and progressively increase the desired range of motion for the animal.
Co-founder and CEO Grzegorz Kosch said of his company’s mission, “The main goal of our products is to correct defects caused by degeneration, accidents, or inborn problems of animals in a way that is individually tailored to each animal. Thanks to HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology, our products are created individually, with the patient in mind. What sets us apart is our delivery time, the lightness of the solution and the possible personalisation. Until now none of that was possible. Wimba with HP is changing the vet world.”
Avelen Fernandez, Worldwide Healthcare Segment Manager at HP 3D Printing, added: “We challenge ourselves to develop devices solutions that will be used at the cutting-edge of the healthcare industry, while still encouraging sustainable production. To see a company like Wimba rely on our 3D printing technology to push its field forward in such an innovative way is incredibly exciting. We are proud of our partners like ZiggZagg that prove themselves to be essential partners for industry-leading companies and consistently deliver the best that HP 3D printing solutions can provide.”
While Grzegorz and Avelen are optimistic, the verdict is still out on whether their technology will become a mainstay in the veterinary world. We see a lot of potential in devices like these, and if Wimba can use 3D printing to bring them to our furry friends faster, then we are all for it. In the future, we would love to see Wimba explore prosthetics for animals with amputations or missing limbs and translate even more of Glaze’s technology towards Wimba’s goals.
3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis are hosting Additive Manufacturing Strategies in New York City, February 7-9, 2023. Register for the event here to learn from and network with the most exciting companies and individuals in AM.
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