Disabled duck to get a 3D-printed prosthetic leg, thanks to a Kamloops man

Dudley the duck didn’t have the best start in life.

Born August 19, he and the other little ducks were kept in the same enclosure as the chickens. But one day Dudley and his brother were attacked by the chickens who left his brother dead and Dudley badly injured.

“His leg was badly damaged,” said Doug Nelson, co-owner of the K-9-1-1 Animal Rescue & Services in Sicamous. “And half of it dried up and eventually fell off.”

But that doesn’t slow Dudley down too much in the water. He can swim quite well, but has a lot of trouble walking.

“He can’t keep up,” said Nelson, “he kind of stumps around.”

Dudley the duck. Courtesy of 3 Pillar Designs.

Seems like Dudley is going to get a new lease on life soon however, thanks to the hard work of a Kamloops man. Terence Loring started 3 Pillar Designs Inc. about a month and a half ago and one of his first projects is to design a 3-D printed leg for Dudley.

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Loring, an engineer in training, is a friend of Debbie Fortin’s son, who is the other owner of K-9-1-1.

“He said to me ‘you’re into that 3D-printing stuff,” laughed Loring.

So he took a trip out to Sicamous to check out Dudley’s situation and the little duckling won him over. “It’s easy to dismiss it because it’s just a duck,” said Loring. “But it blew me away, watching this little duckling, he’s in pain but he’s still trying to get around.”

For the past two weeks, Loring has been designing Dudley’s new leg and a 3D printing company back east, Proto3000, and their western partner Sandback Technical Design, offered to print the leg for free.

“This is the reason to get into engineering,” said Loring, “to do little projects like this.”

“I’m just trying to make this as realistic as possible for the little guy.”

WATCH: Loring goes to meet Dudley the Duck:

Loring has been trying to work with students at Thompson Rivers University to make sure the biology of the duck’s leg is correct. “The design process is usually pretty collaborative between the client and the designer,” laughed Loring, “but I can’t really ask a duck questions.”

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An example of the leg. Courtesy of 3 Pillar Designs.

Nelson thinks the whole idea is a good one.

“It will be great for Dudley because he will be able to keep up,” he said.

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