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Buttercup the duck walks 'normally' thanks to 3D-printed foot

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Buttercup the duck with a 3d-printed foot
Buttercup the duck with a 3d-printed foot

Buttercup is a duck that doesn't walk quite like any other — thanks to a 3D-printed left foot. Buttercup was hatched at a Arlington, Texas, high school with his left foot turned backwards. That prompted the school to give the duck over to the Feathered Angels sanctuary, where founder Mike Garey saw the deformity and decided to do something about it. Garey reached out to NovaPrint — which is essentially a Kinko's for 3D printing — to find a solution. NovaPrint scanned the left foot of Buttercup's sister Minnie, created a 3D model, and printed it in silicon.

The resulting prosthetic foot and nylon sock that Buttercup wears isn't quite as flexible or responsive as the real thing. And from a videos posted by Garey to both YouTube and Facebook, it's clear Buttercup has to get used to his new foot. But the printed appendage allows the duck to waddle in a way that simply wasn't possible at birth. According to USA Today, printing the replacement foot took just over 13 hours. "It's different for him because his leg is taller than it used to be when he just had the peg," Garey told USA Today. "His muscles will have to adjust, but I'm amazed at how well he's doing right off the bat."