Using 3D Printing Technology

When looking at the ways 3D printing is advancing equine footcare research, I remembered a post from Fran Jurga’s excellent blog that talked about the practical use of 3D printing in everyday farriery. What promise exists following the creation of the titanium horseshoes created by this development led her to talk with Curtis Burns.

Burns is well-known for shoeing top track Thoroughbreds, including Mucho Macho Man, but in recent years has added sport horses to his resume. She talked about how Florida farrier Curtis Burns is using the technology in his practicece and his company Polyflex. As 3D printing technology has advanced throughout the world, it has as well for Burns.

One of the best developments of this technology for Burns is using a 3D scanner. Over the years, the farriers ahs categorized hundreds of feet by size and shape. Once these feet are trimmed, he'll scan them using the handheld scanner. Using this data and scanning feet, Burns says there is potential for making breed/discipline specific shoes.

"If you take the warmbloods of the sport horse world, they often have two different feet," he says. "I've been developing a shoe to address this high-low syndrome. My shoes are shapeable to a degree — there are parameters you have to stay in. So I'm making them as fit-friendly as possible."

By having an inventory of feet, Burns is taking the average and making shoes for the horses. He reports considerable progress in this. He is getting help…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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