Derby the dog: Running on 3D Printed Prosthetics

Derby is a playful puppy born with a congenital deformity that gave him small forearms and no front paws. He could get around on soft surfaces and even used a cart at one point, but his mobility just couldn’t match his spirit. Yesterday, 3D printing firm 3D Systems announced that it has made Derby his own set of prosthetic limbs. He’s running outside.

Stories like this remind me of how much good can be done via engineering and new technologies.

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Very Short Fact: On this day in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, N.C.

As the science [of structural engineering] became ever more powerful so did the specialization. For example, in 1903 a new specialization began to emerge after the first successful powered flight by the Wright brothers. The first flimsy, odd looking machine was made of spruce and cloth with two wings, one placed above the other. Aeronautical and aerospace structural engineers are now very highly specialized because minimizing weight is so important; they use aluminium and lightweight composite materials. 

[p. 52, Structural Engineering: A Very Short Introduction, by David Blockley]

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Big Data Pictures

Scientific visualization of a tumor and of a tornado are two entirely different aspirations but the underlying forms and structure of the data needed to create these images are not, which means it’s possible to share the same number-crunching methods to produce both informing pictures.

Researchers at UC San Diego’s Institute of Engineering in Medicine, headed by Lawrence Frank, are collaborating with colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research to boost the visualization capabilities in both bio- and geosciences, everything from weather patterning to CT scans of sea dragons (above, courtesy of Robert Sah).

You can read more here.


On this day in history, December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers took their first flight at Kittyhawk, NC for more than a minute. The world was never the same.

 Check out this Pathé footage of a different flight that took place in 1908.



Description from the video:

"Goldieblox is out to get girls building! We need more girls in engineering and STEM fields…GoldieBlox creates toys and media that inspires girls to do just that. By tapping into girls’ strong verbal skills, their story + construction set bolsters confidence in spatial skills while giving young inventors the tools they need to build and create amazing things.

It’s rare for a small start-up to branch out into animation, but with a mission that matters, this tiny, wildly passionate creative team pulled it off! Our girls are so important and they need heroes and stories that show them they can do anything.

In the world premier of GoldieBlox’s first ever animated music video we show that it’s okay to fail, and that failure is a huge part of any great success.

The video was directed and animated by Lynn Wang and Ed Skudder (Solstice, Dick Figures, Dogsnack, Disney TVA) with art direction by Andrea Fernandez and Trevor Spencer (Paramount, Disney, Titmouse) with additional backgrounds by Angelo Vilar. Head of IP Development, Megan Lacera (My Little Pony, Care Bears, Sushi Pack). Goldieblox is created by Debbie Sterling.

The original song “Lightning Strikes” is written and performed by Emily Haines of Metric (which is now up on Spotify!).”

"Lightning Strikes" by GoldieBlox (feat. Emily Haines) | OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO