Here’s the usual heartwarmer to end the week. And I can’t refrain from saying this: religion and prayer aren’t going to fix a duck’s amputated foot. (Remember “Why won ‘t God heal amputees?“) But science can—and did!
After Buttercup had his foot amputated in February, Garey — a software engineer by trade — started looking into options for a replacement limb. Sure, Buttercup could have a peg leg; but what if Garey could replace the entire foot?
After shopping around for a service, he found 3D printing company NovaCopy, which agreed to donate its services to helping Buttercup walk again. Together, using photos of the left foot of Buttercup’s sister Minnie, they designed a brand new left foot for Buttercup.
Because the foot needs to be flexible, the usual plastics used in 3D printing aren’t viable. Instead, NovaCopy printed a mould, which will be used to cast a silicone foot for the lucky duck, creating several iterations of the design to come up with the perfect one. It will be attached to his foot via a silicone sheath.
“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 said. “If you saw Dolphin Tail, this material is similar to the WintersGel that they used.” WintersGel is a prosthetic liner that grips the amputated limb.
(Credit: Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary)
The duck in the movie below might be Buttercup, though I’m not sure. It does, however, have an injured left foot: