Wednesday, June 19, 2013

3D Printing a DUCK FOOT?!

So, you've probably heard of 3D printing already creating a new jaw for an elderly woman, fixing up a bald eagle's beak, and perhaps even one day making a prosthetic for this dog's snout (warning: kinda intense image)... but this one was news to me!

This week, Joel Graves, a 3-D printing engineer at NovaCopy, printed the prototype for a mold that will eventually be used to create a prosthetic foot for a DUCK!  Buttercup, the duck, was born in a high school science lab last year with a backward foot.

And, we here at BPC, love ducks - hatching them AND printing them!
His second owner, Mike Garey of Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary, consulted with a local veterinarian, who realized that it was best for the duck to have the foot amputated.  Then the duck needed time to heal.

In the meantime, Garey photographed the duck stump, combined the images using Autodesk, modeled the new foot after duck-sister-Minnie's left, then sent the design to Graves at Novacopy.  (Shoutout to Novacopy - as I understand it, the company is donating its services to help Buttercup!)  Once Garey receives the 3D-printed foot, it can be used to mold the new silicone foot.

For more information (OK, a LOT more detail, including pictures!), check out Buttercup's FACEBOOK PAGE?!  Here is Buttercup considering one of the silicone options...

(duck images courtesy of the Facebook page)

UPDATE 6/29/13:  CNET has a nice write-up on the story.  It's pretty fascinating to see how many news avenues have picked up this story.  Ducks, 3D printing, and philanthropy (philanaspy?) - what could be more compelling?

AND, Buttercup's foot is in the process of being molded!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story...thanks to everyone who has helped Buttercup.