Duck’s Prosthetic Foot Made by 3D Printer (+Photo)

June 28, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

A duck’s prosthetic foot was made with the aid of a 3D printer. The disabled duck, named Buttercup, was born with a backward left foot.

“When he would walk outside, his leg would start bleeding,” Mike Garey of Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary located in Arlington, Tenn., told USA Today. “I knew Buttercup would be better off as a peg-leg duck than a duck with a disabled foot.”

A veterinarian amputated the foot of the duck earlier this year, prompting Garey to think of ways to help the animal. He ultimately thought of 3D printing.

“With his deformed foot, he would have been in pain and had constant cuts and foot infections walking on the side of it even at our sanctuary here,” he told CNET.

A 3D printing company donated its services and made a foot for Buttercup. The other, normal foot of the duck was used as a mold for the 3D printer.

“This version will have a stretchy silicone sock instead of the finger trap, which will roll up on his leg, be inserted into the foot and then have a fastener in the bottom,” Garey told CNET. “If you saw Dolphin Tail, this material is similar to the WintersGel that they used.” 

He said Buttercup will soon get its new foot.