Here at Complex A&D, we care about animals and we love to give you stories that show how forward-thinking design can help the little creatures out there. Buttercup is a baby duckling that hatched in a high school biology lab in November 2012. However the poor little thing was born with a backward left foot and probably wouldn't make it in the wild.

Mike Garey of Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary recommended that the duck's defective foot be amputated. After months of healing, engineers at Novacopy Inc. took the time to develop a 3D printed prototype that would lead to a prosthetic foot fitted for buttercup. You can see what they came up with below.

The ABS plastic used to make the foot isn't flexible enough for Buttercup's constant movement, so the mold used to make the prosthetic will later be used to make a permanent silicone foot. We see with the use of 3D printing technologies being applied in the animal world, showing the limitless possibilities of the method. Plus we think Buttercup is cute. Yeah, that's the reason why we're talking about this.

all images courtesy facebook

[via Designboom]