Buttercup is a duck that was born at a high school biology lab and is from the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Arlington, Tennessee that was born with a backwards left foot. The owner of the Sanctuary Mike Garey amputated Buttercup’s foot and replaced it with a replacement foot.
“With his deformed foot, he would have been in pain and had constant cuts and foot infections walking on the side of it even at our sanctuary here; and foot infections on these guys is always a serious matter,” said Garey in a CNET interview.
Garey decided to use the left foot of Buttercup’s sister Minnie to design a new foot using 3D software. After the artificial mold was created, the design was sent to a 3D printing company called NovaCopy. NovaCopy printed the foot and donated a 3D mold of the foot to Buttercup. This mold was used for creating and testing various silicone feet for Buttercup to try out on the left leg.
If you have seen the movie Dolphin Tail, you will recognize the material as the one that is similarly used to the WintersGel that they used in the movie. The WintersGel material can grip the amputated limb.
[Image Credit: Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary]