Dogs run, butterflies flit, and ducks – well, they can certainly fly, but I suppose swimming would be another suitable verb to describe them. For a duck to lack one foot, it would pretty much be having an eagle get around with a broken wing, as the missing foot would certainly hamper its movement, whether on land or on water. Buttercup the duck, however, was born with a backwards left foot, hence ensuring that his prospects for a happy future looked bleak. The backwards left foot made it difficult and painful to walk, resulting in cuts as well as the risk of infection all the time. Eventually, Buttercup had his foot amputated, but at least the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary owner Mike Garey, who also happens to be a software engineer, decided to give Buttercup a new lease of life thanks to a 3D printed foot.
NovaCopy, a manufacturer of 3D printing systems, stepped in to help Buttercup, where they decided to use Buttercup’s sister Minnie as a model so that Buttercup will have a new left foot to waddle and swim around in. NovaCopy printed a mould of the foot, where this mould was subsequently filled with silicone which resulted in a flexible version of the final foot, allowing Buttercup additional freedom of movement.