Mar 23, 2018 | By Tess

Over the years, 3D printing has helped many an animal get back on its feet, from Polly the parrot, to Leo the chihuahua, to Bagpipes the adorable penguin. Most recently, a family in Wyoming turned to the technology to help out its pet peacock who lost a foot due to frostbite this winter.

If this past winter has been (and maybe still is!) a rough one, you can at least be thankful to still have both your feet. The same couldn’t be said for a peacock in Wyoming—who suffered frostbite so severe that his left foot fell off.

And while the stump healed well and the peacock’s health was not in danger, its owners wondered how they could help the large bird regain some mobility after the loss.

In a bid to help their majestic pet, the peacock’s owners found help from (where else but...) Reddit.

The post apparently caught the eye of a maker, who offered to design and 3D print a prosthetic for the peacock.

“After we posted our first video about the peacock losing its foot, the Reddit community went into action,” says the bird’s owner. “Specifically one user who spearheaded a mission to obtain a plan for a 3D printed prosthetic leg originally designed for a stork.”

The prosthetic foot, based off the model designed for a stork, was customized to the peacock’s dimensions and 3D printed by the Reddit user. Once it was done, the user simply shipped the 3D printed foot to Wyoming where it was fitted onto the bird using a piece of felt padding for added comfort.

At the moment, the peacock’s owner said that the 3D printed prosthetic foot is being held on to the peacock’s stump using zip ties, but that eventually velcro straps might be implemented for easier removal.

The bird’s family is currently helping it adjust to its new foot. This has entailed encouraging the bird to no longer use its wing for balance (it had been putting its wing on the ground to stabilize itself after losing its foot) and keeping it separate from other animals to get used to its new foot.

“For now he needs to get used to it and break in his new white kicks,” said the peacock’s owner in a video. “It’s amazing to us that people took their time and money to help us and a peacock that they’ll more than likely never meet.”

This peacock story has touched us too because, really, that’s what the maker community is all about. You can see the peacock's full journey in the video below:



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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