For many animals, injuries will leave them stranded or left for dead. In some circumstances, animals are lucky enough to get rescued by veterinarians or good Samaritans and treatment can help them get back on their feet.
But in the case of Phillip the duck, there were no feet to get back up on. According to an article published by Mashable, the duck’s flippers were damaged due to frostbite from wandering around in the cold Wisconsin winter.
The duck’s owner, Vicki Rabe-Harrison, was saddened by the duck’s inability to walk like a regular duck. As a result, she contacted South Park Middle School, which just so happens to have a 3D printer on site.
Jason Jischke, a middle school teacher at the institution, was the head of the classroom that had the 3D printer, so naturally, the call was forwarded to him. Afterwards, he went through several design ideas for some new 3D printed feet that the duck would be able to use to walk on.
After the prototyping phase was over, which is reported to have taken around 6 weeks, the 3D printer finally went through its final 36-hour print job, where it completed the final product out of a special kind of flexible material.
Despite the doubts surrounding whether or not the duck would be able to get used to the new flippers, it’s said that Phillip has already made strides in his learning curve and that it’s expected he’ll learn to balance even better with them in the coming weeks.
You can watch Phillip walk on his new 3D-printed feet below:
This isn’t the first time that 3D printing has offered a hand in making lives better for animals – 3D printing also provided a new beak for an injured toucan, and a set of wheels for a puppy that had no front feet.
The 3D printing industry continues to show its wide range of uses not only for animal care, but also in building bridges and helping with long-distance space travel. Soon, you’ll even be able to 3D print your own objects right from your smartphone.
It looks like 3D printing is definitely going to be the way of the future for its inexpensive and lightweight manufacturing abilities, and lives will be improved in the process.
Source: WBAY via Mashable