3D-Printed Horseshoes Provide Personalized Equine Foot Care

Dutch researchers are printing custom shoes, which allow for a perfect fit so farriers and veterinarians can address specific hoof issues and lamenesses.
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3D-Printed Horseshoes Provide Personalized Equine Foot Care
Still in its early stages, the 3D horseshoe printing project will soon focus on evaluating the shoes’ effects on horses’ gaits with the help of an objective gait analysis system, de Zwaan said. | Photo: Courtesy Pascaline van der Linden
Horses are about to walk all over the latest technology.

To home in on healing in the most precise, individualized way possible, Dutch scientists are creating custom therapeutic shoes through 3D printing.

“This is personalized hoof care we’re developing, because every horse is unique and has unique problems with unique challenges,” said Harold Brommer, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECVS, professor and chair of Equine Surgery and Orthopaedics at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Utrecht University, in the Netherlands.

Modeling after personalized foot care in human medicine, Brommer and his associates, who include master farriers Jan de Zwaan and Gerben Bronkhorst, have carried out pilot testing of their high-tech, custom-designed shoes on two horses for two consecutive shoeing cycles

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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