Buttercup the duck was born in a high school biology classroom in 2012. At birth, his left foot was twisted backwards, making walking almost impossible. Buttercup received rehabilitation to correct the deformity, but it wasn’t a success. Walking was very painful for him, and he was then given to the nonprofit agency Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Arlington, TN.
The foks at Feathered Angels were concerned about the foot, as he would be more susceptible to cuts, which in turn would cause infection. At 3 months old, Buttercup’s left foot was amputated. The prosthetic would need to be flexible. While 3D printers typically don’t work with flexible materials, it could be used to make a mold.
Tennessee based 3D printing company NovaCopy donated the resources to make the mold, using the left foot of Buttercup’s sister as a reference. The mold would allow them to make the prosthetic out of silicone.
Last summer, Buttercup finally received his new limb and is getting along fine with it.
Here is Buttercup being fitted with his new foot for the first time:
And here’s Buttercup walking for the first time on his new limb:
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