Jan.19, 2014

Dudley the duck who has only one foot, following an unfortunate encounter with a chicken, is walking tall today after being fitted out with a movable plastic webbed leg, thanks to 3D printing technology.

Born August 19, 2013, Dudley was placed in an enclosure with some chickens at K9-1-1 Animal and Rescue Services in Sicamous. One day the aggressive chickens attacked Dudley and his brother. His brother died and Dudley's leg was badly damaged, said Doug Nelson, co-owner of the K-9-1-1 Animal Rescue & Services. Dudley lost his foot and part of his leg. He can still swim, but has a lot of trouble getting around on land.

Terence Loring, a mechanical engineer who recently started his own Kamloops-based company — 3 Pillar Designs, learned about Dudley through a friend. After a visit to Dudley he decided to create a prosthetic leg for the injured duckling. "It's easy to dismiss it because it's just a duck," said Loring to Global News. "But it blew me away, watching this little duckling, he's in pain but he's still trying to get around."

The project was dubbed "Project Robo-Duck." Once measurements were taken Loring designed a new leg using SolidWorks software. Local 3D printing company Proto3000 has offered to print the prosthetic foot free of charge.

The foot was mirrored off Dudley's good foot to ensure similar sizing. The first design was at a wrong angle and more complex than needed. So Loring designed a second leg, a much simpler version. The main structure including upper-leg, lower-leg, connecting pin for joints are made of a stronger ABS. The foot is made out of a very soft and flexible rubber-mimic plastic to allow easier placement / liftoff of the foot.

When Dudley put it on, he just started walking. Though he is still getting used to moving on the new leg, but, according to Debbie Fortin, Dudley's owner and caretaker, he's getting around better and his health is improving.

Dudley is not the first lucky duck who has help coming from human friends. Last year, Buttercup the duck who was born with with a backwards left foot became a worldwide star as his owner and local 3D printing company tried to create a prosthetic foot for Buttercup.

Loring is still perfecting the design. He found it extraordinary to work on something that will actually benefit someone, even if it is a duck. Fortin said her eyes are now wide open to the world of 3D printing and the potential benefits the technology can offer animals and humans alike.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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shirley marconi wrote at 4/24/2016 4:23:43 AM:

Oh my heavens you are truely angels. I have a five week old pekin duck who was in an accident, and lost her right foot. Leg is healing beautiful, but is difficult for her to move normally and not trip and coninuely fall. Is there anything you could do to help her have a foot again? my nine year old daughter hatched this duck, whos name is Cinnamon and has been devisataed about her injury. Please contact us at slm21032@gmail.com if you can advise or possibly help Cinnamon in any way. Thank you Cinnamon and sammy

Emily wrote at 5/29/2015 6:02:23 PM:

I also have a chicken, Ruth, with a bad leg. The vet recommended euthanizing her, but she's only 4 weeks old and I can't give up on her in good concious. I've had trouble finding a prosthetic chicken leg, and vet is unable to preform surgical intervention. David, Debbie, and Linda: How do your chickens do getting around without one leg? Pain? Have you been able to find anyone who can create a prosthetic leg for a chicken? Or have you found any other options that work? I just came out of a walking boot for my ankle and was thinking maybe something like that could work? Thank you! Email is barryemilys@gmail.com

Linda Harris wrote at 5/18/2015 5:10:22 PM:

Are these available for sale? Have a one legged bantam rooster who is struggling with only one leg & a stump.

Bearshome2@gmail.com wrote at 2/25/2015 1:40:25 AM:

I need to know where I can buy this foot for David's chicken. Lily's foot came off a few weeks ago. She could really use a prosthetic to get around better just like you put one on for Dudly. Please respond. Debbie

Maria Romero wrote at 2/24/2015 10:50:49 PM:

my and I are in a situation. We rescued a duck from a pond near our house due to a turtle attack on land. she is in surgery right now to see if they can save part of her leg is there any way to get in contact with any of the people that participated in this project? we would like for her to have some what of a normal life PLEASE HELP!

David wrote at 2/22/2015 1:54:37 AM:

My name is David and I have a chicken that lost It's feet to frostbite. I saw your artical and would like to know could I purchas your feet for my chicken lily.

Bear wrote at 8/21/2014 1:25:25 PM:

I need one for my chicken!!

ashley allard wrote at 4/24/2014 5:21:35 PM:

this is a really cool article!!

ToddMays wrote at 2/24/2014 6:09:38 AM:

Fantastic technology. So industrious to find and use solid-state materials, and 3D printing. Bionic legs for yard birds is a great thing.

Linda Lindquist wrote at 1/23/2014 11:31:29 PM:

That's wonderful!!! Many thanks to you for making Dudley so hPly to get around with his disabled leg. Good invention!! Thanks for saving their lives too. 😃

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