Apple spotlights 3D printed dog prosthetics

Sept. 11, 2023
"It's been a very fun journey," says Alex Tholl, CEO and co-founder of DiveDesign and its subsidiary 3D Pets, featured in an iPhone ad campaign.

By Karen Hanna

The CEO and co-founder of a company affiliated with a maker of prosthetics for pets said a commercial for Apple iPhones showcasing 3D Pets has brought awareness to special-needs animals.  

“It's surreal to see these pups in the commercials and billboards wearing our devices. It's really wonderful,” said Alex Tholl, the CEO and co-founder of DiveDesign, a firm that provides consulting services revolving around additive manufacturing. A subsidiary of that company, 3D Pets, has helped over 300 pets. 

Begun in 2020, the company now has four full-time and two part-time employees, Tholl said. 

“It’s been a very fun journey,” he said. 

With 3D scanners and 3D printers, the company works with pet owners to create 3D models of their pets and manufacture prosthetic limbs tailored to their needs. 

As one woman — the owner of a Rottweiler named Trip with a deformed front leg — said during the commercial, “People think when they lose a leg it's over. People look at him and they think, ‘Poor guy, he's missing a leg.’ He sees himself as a regular dog. He just loves life.” 

Though Trip could have been euthanized, his owner opted to fit him for a prosthetic. In the commercial, he’s running, playing fetch and splashing in a creek while wearing it. 

“I would rescue him over and over again,” she said. 

Read PMM’s story about 3D Pets.