Lucky Duck Gets a New Foot Thanks to 3D Printing

The practical applications of 3D printing truly go far beyond the needs of humans. Recently, a team of animal-loving geeks found a way to save a handicapped duck’s life by giving him a 3D printed foot.

3D Duck Foot

Meet Buttercup, a 2 year old duck who was born with his left foot on backwards. His owner sought the help of trained veterinarians at the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary to find a treatment for him. In order for Buttercup to survive, they amputated his deformed foot and allowed him to recover for months.

Recently, they have found a solution to give Buttercup the chance to walk, fly, and swim like a normal duck, thanks to a 3D printed prosthetic. By creating a digital model of the foot, Feathered Angels was able to 3D print an accurate figure of the foot on ABS plastic. This will then be used as a template or mould for the actual prosthetic that will be made of more pliable material. Pretty soon, Buttercup will have a new lease on life.

Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary has been helping animals find better homes since 2007. The non-profit organization operates on a large expanse of land in Tennessee for the ducks, geese, and other bird species to freely thrive and survive. Veterinarians and volunteers help ensure that the birds are well taken care of, and donations from their supporters come in continuously.

Buttercup the duck is only one of many birds that Feathered Angels has rehabilitated. Currently, the team behind the prosthetic foot are tweaking the technology to be able to fit the new limb onto him. More on Buttercup’s journey can be viewed on his journal on the official Facebook page of Feathered Angels.

For more on 3D printers and their applications, you can also check out how these 3D printed ears can help patients with ear deformities.

Via Design Boom