• Buttercup photograph
  • Buttercup photograph

Buttercup The Duck Gets New Foot

Buttercup is one of the first animal cases involving the use of 3D printing technology. Buttercup is a male Pekin duck that was hatched in a high school biology lab with a leg deformity--his left foot was turned backwards. As a result of this deformity, even as a young duckling, Buttercup struggled to walk. His first owner tried to work with him as he was still a young duckling to try to correct the leg deformity, however it only partially turned around. The duck still had trouble walking. Buttercup ended up finding a second home when he was adopted by Mike Garey of Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary.

Garey knew that he needed to do something to help Buttercup, because the deformity was so bad that the duck's foot would start to bleed by spending just 10 minutes walking around outside. Garey turned to his local veterinarian---Dr. Shannon McGee from the Collierville Animal Clinic and Surgery Center. After lengthy discussions, they both agreed that Buttercup would be better off with a peg-leg as opposed to a disabled foot which impeded his walking ability. Therefore, Dr. McGee amputated the duck's left foot.

As Buttercup was recovering, Garey sought options for how to go about creating a prosthetic foot for the duck--and ended up turning towards 3D printing technology. With the help of Dr. McGee, Garey took photos of a similar duck with a normal left foot and used them in an AutoDesk Software program to design Buttercup a new foot. Once the design was completed, Garey sent the 3D file to NovaCopy, Inc., a local 3D printer reseller in Tennessee and Texas. Once the president of NovaCopy heard about what Garey was doing for Buttercup--the company donated the materials and use of the printer technology to help Buttercup.

Joel Graves from NovaCopy, used the AutoDesk file Garey sent him to produce several prototypes of molds used to create a prosthetic foot for buttercup. Each prototype took over thirteen hours to print.

About Feathered Angels

Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary was started in 2007 after learning about the needs of these beautiful birds. Their mission is to help abandoned domestic ducks and geese with food, shelter and veterinary care; and facilitate adoption into safe, loving homes. They promote education about domestic waterfowl to stop abandonment and assist owners with proper care.
Website: featheredangels.org

About Collierville Animal Clinic and Surgery Center

Collierville Animal Clinic and Surgery Center is located in Collierville, TN and has been in business since 1955. The dedicated team has an unrivaled commitment to their clients through continuing education, technological advances in veterinary medicine and service, and most importantly, administering compassionate care to all pets entrusted to them.

Website: colliervilleanimal.com