Poor Buttercup was never going to be able to walk like a duck.
When he hatched in a high school biology lab last November, the duckling emerged with a backward left foot. In duck world, this often means a death sentence.
But according to Design Boom, Buttercup also had a little bit of luck on his feathery side.
That’s because he’s the fortunate recipient of the world’s first 3D printed prosthetic foot… for waterfowl.
As if this whole 3D printing thing weren’t amazing enough, the brilliant minds at Novacopy Inc. managed to create the prototype for a prosthetic foot that can be printed in an actual machine and attached to Buttercup’s left leg. Incredible!
Novacopy’s engineers achieved this technological feat (I deserve some credit for resisting the temptation to write “feet”) by constructing the mold to be used for future, more permanent silicone prosthetics.
That means their model, which only took 13 hours to produce, will likely be used to help other creatures like Buttercup enjoy a full life.
But the best news, according to Design Boom, is that the new 3D printing process is making it possible for designs like this to be produced quickly and effectively.
If there were ever anything to quack about, it would be this.