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Amputee goose waddles anew with 3D-printed leg

A goose named Ozzie gets some new pep in his step with a 3D-printed leg and webbed foot to replace the leg he lost.

Ozzie the goose
Ozzie gets measured at BunnyCorp. BunnyCorp

Ozzie the goose is a lucky duck, but he didn't start off that way. The South African waterfowl broke his leg, requiring amputation at the joint. Good Samaritan Sue Burger took him in and watched over the feathery fellow as he healed. At first, Ozzie tried to adapt to the loss of his leg by using his left wing like a crutch, but it was a difficult way to try to move about.

Burger conducted a radio interview about the bird's plight. "For the first month, he spent his life hanging in a hammock with his legs hanging out the bottom of a blanket with two holes in it," she said.

Burger received an offer of help from a coalition of companies. Digital design firm BunnyCorp donated design work, 3D Printing Systems offered up the material and the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing at the Central University of Technology in South Africa created a leg and foot prosthesis using a 3D printer.

Ozzie took a field trip to the BunnyCorp offices in Cape Town to have his stump measured. Next came the design and printing of a test prosthesis consisting of a cup, a jointed leg and a webbed foot. Ozzie is now getting used to his prosthetic leg and foot. He's been able to stand on it and take some first steps. BunnyCorp is following his progress and will make adjustments to the design if necessary.

While humans have been the recipients of creative 3D-printed appendages, the technology has also been put to good use for our feathered and furry friends. Ozzie is in good company with other critters like Derby the dog, who got a 3D-printed front leg prostheses, and Buttercup the duck, recipient of a 3D-printed foot.