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3D Printing Assistive Units for Kittens in Want!

Hacker of the Month for December 2018, Preston Tobery, co-created and 3D prints the MegaFeeder3000 to assist kittens and puppies with congenital defects.

Posted on November 21, 2018


Mara Hitner

At MatterHackers, we’re always trying to find ingenious and distinctive ways in which 3D printing is getting used on the planet, and we’re at all times excited to search out tales of those that use their abilities and abilities to assist others. On this case, we have been fortunate sufficient to find out about Preston Tobery and Hannah Shaw, the minds behind the wonderful MegaFeeder3000; a 3D printed feeding platform for cats and canines that endure from megaesophagus.

The invention of the MegaFeeder3000 got here from a collaboration between this serendipitous duo; Preston Tobery, a Coordinator for Maker Applied sciences on the College of Maryland Libraries who has an enormous ardour for 3D printing; and Hannah Shaw aka Kitten Girl – a YouTube persona that educates viewers on cat adoption, particularly particular wants kittens.

The MegaFeeder3000!

The MegaFeeder3000!

A few of Hannah’s rescues are born with a situation generally known as Megaesophagus; a congenital defect which makes it powerful for cats – and canines – to eat out of standard bowls on the ground. Their esophagus doesn’t push the meals all the way down to the abdomen like regular, so consuming from a raised bowl units the esophagus up at an optimum angle for meals to go easily via, and permits gravity to simply do its factor and get the meals the place it must go.

Enter Preston – after watching a couple of of Hannah’s movies, he reached out to see if he might assist 3D print one thing for Hannah’s kittens to make it simpler for them to eat. To his shock, she replied with a sketch of an thought for a feeding bench, which Preston was the MegaFeeder3000! Preston makes use of primarily MatterHackers PRO Sequence filament when creating his MegaFeeder3000 models, and he is additionally thoughtful in his coloration decisions – many orders get to pick the colour they need, making the orders much more specialised.

Rescue kitten Badger testing out a beta version of the MegaFeeder3000

Rescue kitten Badger testing out a beta model of the MegaFeeder3000

It took two weeks of iterations, however as soon as the ultimate product was featured on Hannah’s YouTube channel and different social media, Preston began getting calls to create extra. Working underneath his new firm identify, Adaptive Tech & Consulting, he’s now producing 2-3 feeders per week and taking a look at different types of fabrication to maintain up with demand. He’s additionally engaged on a model for canines, as Megaesophagus is an much more widespread downside within the canine neighborhood. Now MegaEsophagus kittens all around the world – on and off Instagram – are in a position to eat safely due to 3D printing, and Hannah and Preston!

Preston noticed his first MakerBot Replicator 2 at Michigan State College’s makerspace years in the past, and in his phrases, it was love at first sight.  When he began working in IT on the College Of Maryland Libraries, he satisfied them to buy a 3D printer. As a result of Preston is a hands-on learner his first 3D printer was a discovery-in-doing lesson; he fully took it aside and put it again collectively to study the way it all labored!

“What actually struck me was the truth that this THING was simply showing earlier than my eyes,” explains Tobery.  “It’s nonetheless enjoyable to see individuals collect round and watch the printer go. I evaluate it to watching hearth – it attracts you in and you may’t cease looking at it.  Even the noises and crackling remind you of fireplace.”

The director noticed his ardour for brand new know-how they usually created the Maker Expertise Coordinator place particularly for Preston so he might share his ardour with college students, employees, and school.  He now runs a 1000 sq. foot room filled with 3D printers like a CR-10S, a Zortrax M200, a Zortrax M300, a SeeMeCNC Rostock, and a Peopoly Moai put collectively as a package. His lab additionally accommodates an superior number of different Maker instruments like a Mosaic pallette, vinyl cutters, scanners, AR/VR models, arduinos, robots, and extra.

As well as, Preston has designed and fabricated assistive strolling units and wheelchairs for some kittens and cats as nicely!

Kitten Chloe getting some wheels!

Kitten Chloe getting some wheels!

With the recognition of the MegaFeeder3000, Preston’s enterprise is rising quickly, and he’ll be getting extra large-format 3D printers to maintain up with demand for his feeders, in addition to different 3D printing and consulting initiatives for some fairly large corporations. His purpose in life is to assist animals, and since 3D printing is straightforward sufficient to do in your individual house or workplace with a sketch, some PLA, and a 3D printer which solely prices a couple of hundred {dollars}, anybody can now develop themselves as a specialised entrepreneur placing good into the world by serving to kittens!

What does Preston have deliberate for the long run? Whereas he is a big cat lover, he does have an open thoughts in relation to serving to out different beasts, “I’d like to work with zoos to provide you with designs for adaptive applied sciences for unique animals,” Preston says. Lions and tigers and bears! We will’t wait to see THAT on Instagram.

If you want to see Preston and his work with the MegaFeeder3000, go to his Fb web page right here:


You may also go to his model new webpage right here:


To take a look at Hannah Shaw aka Kitten Girl, you may see her YouTube channel right here:


Need to be our subsequent Hacker of the Month? E-mail chris.morgan@matterhackers.com, and inform us about your 3D printed creations – you might be featured in our subsequent e-newsletter. Hacker of the Month receives 3 free spools of PRO Sequence or MH Construct filament to additional their pursuit of 3D printing greatness!

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