A duck named Buttercup can now walk after receiving a 3D-printed prosthetic foot.
The duck was born with a deformed left foot that turned backwards, and had to get the foot amputated. But Mike Garey, the owner of the animal sanctuary where Buttercup lives, had the 3D printing company Novacopy scan Buttercup's sister Minnie's left foot. From there, the company created a 3D-model and printed it in silicon, The Verge reported.
The new foot, which Buttercup wears with a nylon sock, isn't as flexible as a real duck foot, but it's a massive improvement over his previous foot. "His muscles will have to adjust, but I'm amazed at how well he's doing right off the bat," Garey told USA Today.
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Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.