3D printing gives disabled duck Dudley a new limb

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Yet another disabled wee duckie has been given a new lease on life thanks to the magic of 3D printing.

(Credit: 3 Pillar Designs)

At long last, 3D printing has found its niche: providing replacement limbs — for ducks. Poor Dudley of K9-1-1 Animal and Rescue Services in Sicamous, Canada, lost his leg when he was just a baby to a vicious attack from a chicken kept in the same pen — but now he can walk again, thanks to 3D printing.

The first iteration of Dudley's foot.
(Credit: 3 Pillars Designs)

Unlike Buttercup's new foot, which was created using a 3D-printed mould to cast a limb in silicone, creating Dudley's foot was a more elaborate affair.

It was created by Terence Loring of 3 Pillar Designs, a company that specialises in 3D printing architectural prototypes. Loring heard of Dudley's plight through a friend and — Buttercup's story undoubtedly echoing in his head — decided to see what he could do to help.

The first limb Loring designed has a jointed construction, and was fully 3D-printed in plastic by Proto3000 in Canada. When Dudley put it on, the limb broke and Dudley fell over, so Loring went back to the drawing board for a one-piece model with no joints, printed in a softer plastic.

When the new foot was put on Dudley, he started walking straight away, no hesitation. However, the plastic causes friction sores — a problem Buttercup's owner, Mike Garey, solved with a silicone sock and prosthetic gel liner.

We've no doubt Loring will come up with a solution. Meanwhile, Dudley is happy as a duck in a pond.

(Credit: K9-1-1 Animal and Rescue Services)

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MikeG1 posted a comment   

Buttercup now has a fully 3D printed prosthetic. Check out his page at http://facebook.com/ButtercupTheDuck for the latest video!

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