3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life
3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life
jun 27, 2013

3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life

3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck’s life
all images courtesy facebook



in november 2012, buttercup, a baby duckling hatched in a high school biology lab with a backward left foot. at the time, he probably wouldn’t have survived if mike garey, of feathered angels waterfowl sanctuary, didn’t reccomend a proper amputation. months after the healing process, engineers at novacopy inc produced a 3D printed prototype for a mold that would be then used to create a prosthetic foot for buttercup. because ABS plastics used in the additive manufacturing process are not flexible enough for this type of exercise, the three-dimensionally modeled foot will later be used to create a mold for a permanent silicone prosthesis for the duck. taking just over 13 hours to produce, the printed part demonstrates the capabilities for rapid-prototyping technologies to be used not only for human application, but also in foreign subjects such as animals and other medical treatments.



3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life

3D printed prosthetic of buttercup’s left duck foot



3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life

3D printed prosthetic – left foot detail



3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life

3D CAD model of the prosthetic foot replica



3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life

buttercup was hatched in a high school biology lab with a backward left foot



3D printed prosthetic foot saves duck's life

my new foot is designed!

  • Makes me happy.

    William Green says:
  • love this.

    L says:
  • Humanity at its best!

    Alexander Kandisaputro says:
  • Technology at our service. Excellent!

    adolf witzeling says:
  • The poor animal wil be hampered by such a rigid plastic flap which it will never feel and recognize as its own foot, but rather as an awkward plastic lump on the leg that will not make it walk better at all..let alone swimming.
    The duck has long learned to live with a disabled foot I presume.
    Amputation ok, but do not mistreat it through redundant design..

    besta says:
  • Sure, besta, it’s not ideal but it’s been done before and has proven to do just as this article says, in saving the animal’s life. I recommend you check out the movie “A Dolphin Tale” to see how a dolphin’s prosthetic fins made it whole again.

    Mark Olson says:
  • Hope the bird will be okay for christmas :-)…….

    MRuckes says:
  • Besta, my girlfriends father, Jim, was the production manager for Dolphin Tale and the dolphin is actually now having medical problems such as scoliosis because of the tail.. It can’t even actually wear the tail all the time.

    Still though, this is a great advancement, and I’m sure in the future 3-D printing will be used more and more often for all sorts of situations.

    Kid says:
  • I will say, “this is one of the best uses of technology”. Thanks for sharing.

    Sushil Saini says:

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