Disabled Duck to Get New Foot with Help of 3D Printing

A cute little disabled duck named “Buttercup” will get to walk again without pain, thanks to a prosthetic limb made with the help of a 3d printer.

Buttercup was born in a high school biology lab in November last year, with his left foot was turned backwards. This made getting around for the little guy pretty difficult, making him kimp around on his side, endure severe pain and suffer constant cuts and foot infections.

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It wasn’t until buttercup was transferred to Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Arlington, Tennessee, that the owner and software engineer Mike Garey was able to come up with an innovative way to help the little duck out. After Buttercup had his foot amputated in February, Mike partnered up with 3D-printing company NovaCopy, which used Buttercup’s sister Minnie’s left foot as a template for 3D-printing a foot for Buttercup.

Although the plastics used in 3D printing are not pliable enough for a duck to walk on, the technology did enable them to produce a mold used to cast a silicone foot for Buttercup. “This version will have a stretchy silicone sock instead of the finger trap, which will roll up on his leg, be inserted into the foot and then have a fastener in the bottom,” Garey told CNET.

Buttercup, currently walking around on his stump, is due to get his new foot very soon, with the final design arriving in the next two weeks.

Image Source: Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary