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In Brief

Duck Gets a Leg Up Thanks to 3D Printing

a 3d printed foot for a duck
Buttercup the duck can now waddle normally thanks to a prosthetic leg made with 3D printing (Image credit: YouTube screen shot)

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 Ghose
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.