Penguin Gets 3D Printed Footadmin
Nine years after having his left leg amputated in 2007 when it was caught in a fishing line, Bagpipes the Little Blue penguin has received a custom-made 3D printed foot. This foot will help him swim, stand and waddle “like a penguin should” according to BBC News.
“Hopefully we can get him rehabilitated using his foot normally as he would, instead of over-compensating, and using his feet and his flippers,” penguin keeper Mal Hackett told The Telegraph. This will also allow Bagpipes to take pressure off of the bottom of his stump.
The prosthetic was made by University of Centerbury senior lecturer Don Clucas. He developed the computer design, refined the model, and printed the prosthetic, a process that took approximately 30 hours. “We still need to make a few adjustments like making it easier to clip on the prosthetic and keep it in place on his legs,” Clucas said. Printed prosthetics not only have been useful for animal rehabilitation but for humans as well.
The current rendition of the foot is made from plastic, but the final version will include a rubber material to help Bagpipes with his grip.
This is the first time an animal in New Zealand has been fitted with a 3D printed prosthetic.