Buttercup is one lucky duck.
Buttercup was born with a backwards left foot. Because the foot was at risk for infections and pain, his owner, Mike Garey of the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary, decided to have Buttercup's foot amputated — and design a new one.
Using photos of Buttercup's sister's left foot as a guide, Garey designed an artificial foot on 3D modelling software, then sent the design to NoveCopy, a 3D-printing company, which printed out and donated a mould of Buttercup's new foot.
A 2013 video of Buttercup waddling on his new flexible silicone foot went viral.
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Now that the prototype has been redesigned and perfected, Buttercup has been fitted with a brand-new "vastly improved webbed prosthetic," with an added hinge for flexibility that could better mimic Buttercup's natural movements.
The new design incorporated new 3D printing innovations from upgraded software.
"This foot has to be accurate because I print a 3mm ankle pivot pin which connects the upper leg portion to the base and it has to be precise," Garey said. "The only way I found to get quality parts that were dimensionally accurate was with Simplify3D."
Follow Buttercup's story on his Facebook page.
The Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary is hoping to print prosthetics for other birds in the near future.