Happy Feet

Schoolkids Help Purps the Penguin Walk Again with 3D Printing

Purps the Penguin

This gang of schoolkids have designed a 3D printed prosthetic boot for Purps the penguin. What have you achieved today?

3D printing provides a lifeline for an endangered animal — once again — after a group of middle school children designed a boot for an injured penguin. Now she can waddle and swim again!

Yellow Purple, aka Purps the Penguin, is a 23-year-old African penguin whose left leg was injured in 2011 after she got into a fight with another penguin.

The penguin lives at the Mystic Aquarium, where vets found that Purps had torn her flexor tendon in her ankle and would not be able to walk normally again.

Although many different attempts to handcraft a suitable support boot for the penguin were made, Purps was never fully able to walk as she had done before the incident.

However, thanks to Mystic Middle School, ACT Group and 3D Systems, a 3D printed solution was found. In the touching video below you can see how the boot was specially made for Purps, and how students learnt more about the potential of 3D printing.

Purps the Penguin Now Has Happy Feet

The team of vets from the Mystic Aquarium reached out to Mystic Middle School after hearing they had just received their first 3D Systems printer through ACT Group.

The students wasted no time in finding a solution for Purps, and reached out to ACT Group for advice on how to design and print the boot.

ACT Group jumped at the chance to both help out the penguin, but also to educate children about additive manufacturing and 3D modeling at the same time. The students were offered access to 3D Systems’ multi-material Projet MJP 5500X 3D printer, as well as educational workshops.

With this guidance, students from Mystic Middle School were able to successfully design a boot for Purps. The students first scanned a cast of Purps’ leg with a Geomatic Capture 3D Scanner and generated a digital model.

They then modified this digital design using 3D Systems’ Geomatic Sculpt software to 3D model the perfect boot to help Purps walk.

The final design was printed as one single piece using flexible and rigid materials to make sure the boot was durable yet lightweight. Thanks to Mystic Middle School’s hard work and 3D printing, Purps the Penguin can now walk again.

(Source: GlobeNewsWire)

Purps the Penguin