AMS Spring 2023

Buttercup the Duck Gets Brand New 3D Printed Foot

Inkbit

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Remember Buttercup the duck? Buttercup was the duck who was born with a birth defect which lead to the amputation of his left leg last year. Back in June the fine folks at Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary, ended up buttercup-1using a 3D printer to print out a mold which was used to create a prosthetic foot for Buttercup to comfortably walk on.

The foot works great, but over time it can begin to wear out and either break or become uncomfortable for Buttercup to use any longer. This means they needed to create a new foot, but the method they were using, 3D printing a mold and then creating a prosthetic from that mold, was very time consuming, and not as comfortable a fit for Buttercup, as it could have been. The Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary, decided that if they were to continue printing out feet for Buttecup, and other ducks suffering similar ailments, they would need to figure out a way to 3D print the actual foot, instead of just a mold.

The team turned to donations so that they could purchase a 3D printer and begin their journey to upgrade Buttercup’s foot to a purely 3D printed prosthetic. In exchange for small donations, the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary gave away cute little 3D printed shaped key chains. New flex filaments were now available, which meant that the 3D printer could spit out a very comfortable, well fitting prosthetic.  Soon they were able to raise adequate funding, and proceed with their plan.

The caregiver for the now famous duck, Mike Garey, worked on several different model variations of the foot, prior to finding the perfect fit. He 3D printed the foot, and now Buttercup has a brand new limb to walk on. The new design has a movable ankle, support springs, new sock retainer, and even tread on the bottom for extra gripping power. Buttercup is not the first duck to have a purely 3D printed prosthetic foot.  Dudley the duck, earlier this month also received one, which was printed from a different custom design.  Discuss this story of Buttercup’s Prosthetic, and check out the video of Buttercup modeling his latest foot:

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