‘Purps’ the penguin gets 3D printed boot for her injured foot
Penguins are lovable and they just make a place in everyone’s heart for their cuteness. An endangered African penguin named Yellow Purple (a.k.a Purps) damaged her ankle flexor tendon after a fight with another penguin about five years ago, leaving the poor bird unable to walk properly. Although veterinarians at Mystic Aquarium created a boot for Purps using moldable plastic, but it was a bit cumbersome and uncomfortable for the 23-year-old birdie. So, the aquarium staff got in touch with Mystic Middle School and technical experts from 3D Systems partner ACT Group decided to give Purps a better solution.
The students designed a comfortable and light-weight boot for the little bird, and with a 3D Systems multi-material 3D printer, brought to life a much better 3D printed boot. This gave students an opportunity to understand 3D printing technology. Most importantly they got a heads-up of how to convert an idea into a usable product.
The students scanned the existing cast of Purps foot and with some modifications created the final renders of penguins’ customized orthotic. This new 3D printed boot is much lighter and fits perfectly, thereby making her walk, run and swim like any other normal penguin.
Apparently, this is not the first time a penguin got a 3D printed part after sucoming to injury as we saw Bagpipes also get a 3D printed prosthetic leg thanks to some generous kiwis.