Freda the Clydesdale horse saved by a 3D printer
A FIFTEEN-year-old Clydesdale horse with bad canker has been saved by a man – with a 3D printer.
Freda, from Larkrigg Riding School, Kendal, had a hoof canker that was so bad vets couldn’t save her and she was going to be shot.
However, Andrew Allshorn of Cark 3D Squared came to the rescue, using a custom 3D-printed plate to seal the clog and prevent it from re-infecting itself.
Canker is a serious infection of the horn of the foot that can usually be treated by removing the infected tissue and then wrapping the hoof with sterile gauze secured with tape.
However, despite her owners spending thousands of pounds on vet bills, Freda’s canker wouldn’t go away as the tape kept falling off and the sick horse had been suffering from it for some time.
Andrew was working on another project when his friend from riding school told him about the horse. He decided to help Freda, charging the riding school only for the cost of the equipment.
He said he did it to complete the challenge, but admitted there was some anxiety.
“The owners said if you can’t fix it, it gets shot, so no pressure,” he said.
“We put his foot through a hole in a piece of cardboard and sent the measurements to the printer. I made him a rubber shoe, it was then nailed to the horse’s foot.”
It finally worked and as a reward the riding school allowed Andrew to fulfill a personal dream which was the opportunity to ride horses. Andrew now visits Freda to see how she is and to gallop around the school.
Andrew’s company, 3D-squared, receives commissions from F1 teams and aerospace engineers and he himself has worked in the industry for 30 years.
However, Andrew is careful with technology.
“You can 3D print anything, but sometimes you shouldn’t,” he said.
“You look at the application you’re trying to solve. Combine everything, combine traditional methods with 3D printing. It’s a tool that helps engineers.”