Fowl! Disabled Duck Gets 3D-Printed Foot

By Nick Venable | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

QuackI’m almost ashamed to say it, but we got a letter here the other day at GFR correctly calling us out for being extremely biased in our day-to-day reporting, in which we tend to focus mainly on humans, robots, and the occasional mollusk. The letter, which was covered in wet feathers for some reason, calls us out for not paying attention to the “reel newswurthy creetures of the world.” The letter was simply signed, “Duck.” And after needlessly dropping my head down, I realized that we probably don’t give ducks their due attention as often as we should. (Or would if ducks directed movies.)

Buttercup is a duck that was hatched with its left foot turned completely backwards, and though physical therapy has helped, his foot was still only halfway turned back around. But you didn’t hear any complaining from Buttercup. His owner, Mike Garey, got together with Dr. Shannon McGee and designed a rubber prosthetic foot for Buttercup to use. They sent their design to the 3D printing company Novacopy, which printed the foot out in two shakes of a…duck’s tail. Take a peek at it below, and judge for yourself whether or not it’s luckier than a rabbit’s foot.


Garey is now able to create a mold that a finalized prosthetic can be cast from, and to help things along, Buttercup has already gone through a surgery to removing the half-backward foot. He’s healing nicely, though, not to worry, and you can track his progress through the Facebook page set up for him. And if you’ve got some extra duck-funding dough lying around, why not send him some?

After all, wouldn’t a duck do the same for you?

“I ruined George Lucas and I’ll ruin you, too, see?”