US School Students Make a 3D Printed Prosthetic Leg for a Duck.
A duck in Armorel, Arkansas, actually walks like a duck again. Peg wasn’t walking like a duck at all until some eighth-graders went to work and created — oh, you know this is coming — a peg leg, well a foot anyway, for the lame duck.
Duck farmer Patsy Smith found the injured duckling sitting forlornly on a bank near his nest shortly after he hatched. He was in sad shape after a turtle apparently bit off his foot.
Peg is an Indian Runner Duck, which isn’t a typical barnyard variety, even with two working feet. These slender, ancient ducks stand erect like penguins. They don’t waddle. They run. But poor Peg couldn’t. Smith took Peg, er, under her wing, determined that he would survive. He did, but running irritated his injured leg.
The students at the Armorel Environmental and Spatial Technology Lab got wind of Peg’s predicament and wanted to help. Abby Simmons, Matthew Cook and Darshan Patel spent months working with a 3-D printer to design a prosthetic leg for the duck, KAIT-TV reported.
“We already were looking into ways of creating sophisticated creations with our 3-D printer and we saw that we could do just that for a duck,” Alicia Bell, EAST Lab facilitator, told the television station. “Animals bring everyone together and this was just a great way to show how work in the classroom can impact real life.”
The project was more complicated than the students expected because the prosthetic leg had to fit perfectly, but now Peg is on the run with the other ducks.
“Well not only is it heartwarming but it is exciting and I am just so grateful that there are people that truly care and they have gone out of their way to do all they can to make it as comfortable for the duck,” Smith told the television station.