Humans aren’t the only ones benefitting from 3D printed prosthetics. Buttercup is a fluffy duck who was born with a backwards foot, causing her to hobble around the other ducks. Thanks to 3D printing, the lucky duck is now able to walk around like any other duck at the pond with her new prosthetic foot.
Buttercup’s backwards foot was evident when she was hatched, causing discomfort and immobility. The lucky duck was helped by some researchers who put her into physical therapy. But even after intensive sessions, the foot was only able to turn back half way, still making walking a difficult task for Buttercup.
The duck’s main caretaker, Mike Garey, approached Dr. Shannon McGee to find a way for Buttercup to get a prosthetic foot, so she can live a normal ducky life. The pair decided to turn to the accuracy of 3D printing, and joined forces with Novacopy to make an accurate, 3D printed new duck foot.
The first step was to make a rubber version of Buttercup’s, which Garey and McGee designed together. With Novacopy’s help, a final silicone prosthetic was made, which will outlast wear and tear as Buttercup walks around. To prep for receiving her new foot, the duck underwent surgery to remove the twisted foot, making her ready to receive the prosthetic. The adorable duck has been making incredible progress, and thanks to 3D printing technology has already been fitted with her new, workable foot. You can keep up with Buttercup on her Facebook progress page.