(WBAY) — Phillip the duck was fitted with his new feet Friday morning:
Phillip’s new feet work!
A teacher at Oshkosh’s South Park Middle School fitted Phillip, who lost his feet to frostbite, with new flippers created on a 3D printer. It took Phillip some time to get used to his new feet.
“He picked it up real fast, and I’m sure he’ll learn to balance again and be able to waddle around with all the other ducks,” Vicki Rabe-Harrison said.
Rabe-Harrison of Pickett took in the injured duck (see original article below). She’s taking him to a sanctuary in Cedarburg, where she’s optimistic he’ll be able to swim with other ducks in the pond.
(WBAY) — Tucked in the corner of Mr. Jischke’s classroom is one of the coolest gadgets at South Park Middle School: a 3D printer.
Jason Jischke shows us, “It’s 3D modeling software, so you can actually manipulate it on the screen.”
But we’ll get back to Jischke and his 3D printer later.
Right now we want you to meet Phillip the Duck.
“There was a girl that had to move out of her home that had goats and chickens and ducks and all sort of critters,” says Vicki Rabe-Harrison, from Pickett, “And there was a picture of Phillip with his feet all curled up and dried because they had frozen.”
Instinctively, Vicki took Phillip in.
After watching a video online, Vicki reached out to Mr. Jischke to see if his 3D printer could make Phillip the feet he’d lost.
“The initial email I thought…is this for real?” says Jischke.
“We literally were an hour away from putting him down,” says Vicki, “when I got the call from Jason.”
“I immediately called Vicki from class and I said, ‘Vicki, I’m making the feet right now. Hold off, hold off!'”
“We both cried,” she says.
It’s been six weeks of trial and error to get the model for Phillip’s prosthetic legs just right.
“We are now using what’s called Ninja Flex, and Ninja Flex is a flexible material,” says Jischke.
The new, graciously-donated material takes about 36 hours to print both feet, which have been fitted to slip onto Phillip’s legs. Tomorrow, he will try them on.
Soon, the duck is headed to an animal sanctuary.
Vicki hopes “that he lives with a bunch of ducks and is happy and can run outside and can swim.”
Jischke says, “Phillip and I have become pretty good friends, and it’s going to be sad to see him go.”
A bittersweet ending to a friendship that gives Phillip the footing for a fresh start.