Thanks to his brand new 3D-printed prosthetic, an amputee duck named Buttercup is walking proud!
The amputee duck, who was born in a high school biology lab on November 9, 2012, walked for the very first time on June 30 after being fitted with a 3D-printed prosthetic foot.
Buttercup the duck was born with his left leg turned backwards, making it impossible for him to walk. As the school couldn't care for him, he was brought to Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Tennessee where workers decided the foot needed to be amputated.
After his surgery to remove the useless limb, Buttercup healed well and was able to limp around, but wasn't full mobile. This lead the sanctuary staff to look for another option in order to give the duck a better life.
They teamed up with a 3D-printing company called Novacopy who went to work creating a 3D CAD representation of the prosthetic foot, using another rescue duck's foot as a model. Buttercup's new foot mold was printed in approximately 13 hours, then used to make a silicone prosthetic foot.
On June 30, 2013, the amputee duck's new foot was fitted into place, and brave Buttercup was able to walk for the very first time.
The Feathered Angels team – who have been documenting the bird's journey via the Buttercup Gets a New High Tech Foot Facebook page – shared a video online of their waterfowl friend's first step.
The advances in 3D-printing have recently astonished the world, as a baby girl in Ohio received a tracheal splint implant which made it possible for her to breathe normally, despite suffering from a rare and severe condition. We have also seen controversial projects come out of this new technology, such as 3D-printed guns and bullets.
In this case, however, an adorable amputee duck called Buttercup got a second lease on life with his fancy new 3D-printed prosthetic foot!
Follow Buttercup's story via Facebook.
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[Image via Facebook]