In October 24, 2014, a five-year-old girl born without fully formed fingers on her left hand became the first child in the UK to have a prosthetic hand made with 3D printing technology. Her hand was designed by US-based E-nable, an open source design organisation which uses a network of volunteers to design and make prosthetics mainly for children. The prosthetic hand was based on a plaster cast made by her parents.
A boy named Alex was also born with a missing arm from just above the elbow. The team was able to use 3D printing to upload an e-NABLE Myoelectric arm that runs off of servos and batteries that are actuated by the electromyography muscle. With the use of 3D printers, E-NABLE has so far distributed more than 400 plastic hands to children.
Printed prosthetics have been used in rehabilitation of crippled animals. In 2013, a 3D printed foot let a crippled duckling walk again. In 2014 a chihuahua born without front legs was fitted with a harness and wheels created with a 3D printer. 3D printed hermit crab shells let hermit crabs inhabit a new style home. A prosthetic beak was another tool developed by the use of 3D printing to help aid a bald eagle named Beauty, whose beak was severely mutilated from a shot in the face.
Since 2014, commercially available titanium knee implants made with 3D printer for dogs have been used to restore the animal mobility. Over 10,000 dogs in Europe and U.S. have been treated after only one year.
In February 2015, FDA approved the marketing of a surgical bolt which facilitates less-invasive foot surgery and eliminates the need to drill through bone. The 3-D printed titanium device, 'FastForward Bone Tether Plate' is approved to use in correction surgery to treat bunion.