July 10, 2013
Ducky Enjoys A Normal Life Thanks To 3D Printing
A very unfortunate little webbed buddy, named Buttercup, was born with his foot on backwards. Buttercup was destined to have to hobble everywhere he went, but new technology and science has helped to shine a bright new light on the little ducky’s life.
Let us say you design a wickedly awesome 3D object and would like to have it printed. Well, before 1984, the best you could do would be to have it printed on a sheet of paper. Since then, however, and thanks to the continuation of human creativity and technology, a new machine was created that is capable of printing a solid object from models in 3D software. The idea for this fabulous new machine was first presented in 1981 by Hideo Kodama, and only three years later in 1984 Charles W. Hall created the first fully operational 3D printing machine. 3D printing is possible using a process where layers of material are stacked on top of each other in different shapes in order to create the object; this is called additive process. This amazing technology has been helpful in many projects in many different fields of work. 3D printing has made its impact in architecture, construction, industrial design, aerospace, military, engineering, dental and medical institutions, jewelry, fashion, automotive design, education, food, biotech, art and self expression and many, many more fields. The most recent however, has created a whole new level of achievement.
Humans are no longer the only ones enjoying the benefits of what a 3D printing machine can do. Mike Garey was inspired by this new technology and the great potential it could have to help out his little duck, Buttercup. Along with Dr. Shannon McGee, Mike designed a rubber ducky foot for Buttercup. He then printed it out from a 3D printing company called Novacopy. Using this rubber foot to create a mold, Mike was able to create a silicon prosthetic for Buttercup. Buttercup later went through surgery to remove the defective leg, the surgery was a complete success and, even though it took a while for him to recover, he is still powering on. Soon, thanks to his “dad” Mike and his good friend Dr. Shannon, Buttercup will be the very first duck ever to receive a prosthetic ducky leg. This new achievement will add a whole new level to what can be done with 3D printing. I strongly believe that at some point this technology will expand so much that one day it will be able to be bought for personal use at an inexpensive price, just like a normal printer.
Image Credit: Thinkstock.com