Engineering student 3D prints and donates wheelchairs for dogs

He is 19 years old and fabricates prostheses with 3D printing and delivers them free of charge to dogs of all weights and sizes

Alejandro Colli studies computer engineering at the National University of Avellaneda and uses a 3D printer to manufacture wheelchairs for dogs that need to recover mobility.

Through social networks, he asked to share his project so that more pets could have their own wheelchair. “People, I’m making wheelchairs for dogs with 3D printing. For all sizes and weights. I only ask for RT to be able to reach all possible cases. The truth is that his message on Twitter was very successful and came to be shared by more than 100 thousand people. Orders arrived from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and even Spain.

“I started making prostheses for dogs, and now I started with wheelchairs or dog carts because I saw that there was a need,” said Alejandro Colli, 19, the creator of this project that stands in solidarity with pets.

This is Propaw Lab, 3D canine prostheses. They made themselves known through social networks “and the orders do not stop reaching me. In two weeks, I already delivered three wheelchairs, ”explained the young man who does it for free because“ there are many people who need them and have no money. If you want to make donations, you are welcome, but I do not charge,” he said.

How “Propaw Lab” started

Colli recalls: “Last year I was making prostheses for amputated dogs, but in this last time they started asking me for wheelchairs. At that time I didn’t do them, but before so many consultations I began to contemplate. There is an advantage: the animal adapts very quickly to the wheelchair, which makes it better than prostheses. “

With the unconditional support of his father (Luis), his mother (Mabel) and his three brothers (Ian, Diana and Luis), the project began to form. The name: “Propaw Lab”. And there is a very important detail, which is worth repeating: each wheelchair is completely free and has an “infinite guarantee”, as Colli likes to clarify.

The step-by-step manufacturing of wheelchairs for dogs

Colli asks the owners of the dogs some requirements, among which include the veterinary recommendation for the use of the chair, that has hindrances, the measures of the animal and a video to see its mobility.

The process involves printing in 3D “the joints and wheels using PLA filament (polylactic acid). Then I use screws, acrylic tubes, hoses and the grips that attach the device to the dog, which are velcro. I also have my own model of canine leg prostheses, but it is a more complex process, with other times, because the adaptation of the dog must be done with a physiotherapist”. The young entrepreneur who wants to expand his project explained

wheelchairs with 3D printed pieces.
Each wheelchair takes 18 hours to be manufactured. (Photo: Courtesy Alejandro Colli).

“When I finish I get back in touch with the person so we arrange to give it to him, and I explain how it works,” he explains. There, of course, comes a special moment, that of thanks, both from the person and the dog. “If you see the before and after the dog, it is something priceless. Go from crawling to walking as if nothing. The person also suffers in his own way, it is not easy for them either, they also recognize me and thank me” holds.

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