Duck wanting to waddle again gets new feet from 3D printer

duck wbay_393853

Oshkosh, Wis. (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 Phillips 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.

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