Buttercup is a duck hatched in a high school biology lab, with a backwards left foot. Buttercup’s mom Chase worked with him to try and get it turned around but it only partially turned.
When his second owner, Mike Garey of Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary adopted Buttercup, he knew he needed to do something to help Buttercup survive in his condition.
“When he would walk outside, his leg would start bleeding,” he said. “I knew Buttercup would be better off as a peg-leg duck than a duck with a disabled foot.”
A local veterinarian amputated the duck’s left foot in February and in the meantime, Garey looked for options in creating a prosthetic foot for Buttercup. He turned to 3D printing.
Working with Dr. Shannon McGee Garey took photos of a similar duck’s left foot and combine them in an AutoDesk program. He sent the 3D file to NovaCopy Inc, a local 3D printer reseller in Tennessee and Texas. When Mellissa Ragsdale, the president of NovaCopy, heard of the story, she decided to donate their 3-D printing technology to help Buttercup.
Joel Graves at NovaCopy, produced several prototypes for a mold that will be used to create a prosthetic foot for Buttercup. It took them over thirteen hours to print each model.
Meanwhile Garey received also samples of various types of silicones from the supplier. “With the printing of the 2nd foot design we should be very close to finishing his foot.” says Garey.
Garey is working on the molds and prosthetic design. You can follow Buttercup’s journey to becoming a “real duck” so he can go outside and play and swim with all the other ducks. His Facebook Journal is Here.