Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Science is Awsome: a 3-D Printed Prosthetic Foot designed for Buttercup the Amputee Duck

Science is Awesome: A 3D printed Prosthetic Foot Designed for Buttercup the Amputee Duck birds 3d printing
Science is Awesome: A 3D printed Prosthetic Foot Designed for Buttercup the Amputee Duck birds 3d printing
Science is Awesome: A 3D printed Prosthetic Foot Designed for Buttercup the Amputee Duck birds 3d printing
Science is Awesome: A 3D printed Prosthetic Foot Designed for Buttercup the Amputee Duck birds 3d printing
Science is Awesome: A 3D printed Prosthetic Foot Designed for Buttercup the Amputee Duck birds 3d printing
Science is Awesome: A 3D printed Prosthetic Foot Designed for Buttercup the Amputee Duck birds 3d printing
Buttercup the duck was born in a high school biology lab with a backward left foot making the possibility of walking nearly impossible. Unable to care for the disabled bird, the school handed the duck over to the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary where the backward foot was amputated and the bird managed to walk with an awkward limp. Several months later engineers at Novacopy stepped in to help the sanctuary develop a permanent fix. Advances in rapid prototyping technology allowed for a mold of the bird’s left foot to be printed in about 13 hours, after which a silicone prosthesis was formed and perfectly fitted to Buttercup’s leg.
I was a bit skeptical as I saw this story circulating the web and the news last week, but this weekend Buttercup was fitted with her new prosthetic foot and the video above shows a notable improvement in the bird’s mobility. There has been plenty of online chatter about the need to spend money and resources on project like this for a duck, versus spending those same resources on a human. Personally I’m happy to come from a society that values both. Scientific breakthroughs in 3D printing for humans as well as compassion for birds and other animals. You can read more about this project over on designboomand follow the Buttercup’s progress on Facebook.

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