POW: Artificial bill for Lapeer County duck

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FLINT (WJRT) - (08/03/17) - A Lapeer County duck is showing off something no other duck in the area has; his bill is made of Kevlar and nylon. His artificial bill is glued to his face.

Around Christmas last year, Blue met with an unfortunate accident and lost most of his bill - but science has come to his rescue.

Blue looks almost normal now, but for seven months his barnyard friends made fun of him. His Facebook friends told workers at C-3 Ventures, who have 3-D printers. That created a new lower bill and most of an upper bill.

"We did that by literally taking a duck that had a full size bill and we used scanning technology that was available to us to scan the real life duck bill," said Chris Williams, C-3 Ventures 3-D president.

They took the artificial bill to a veterinarian in Saginaw County, who glued it on.

"He's doing really good. At first he was really sore. Wasn't eating much. He's on pain meds and antibiotics," said Rose Alexander of Columbiaville, Blue's owner.

Blue is a one-and-a-half-year-old Swedish Blue Mix. He has to be tube fed, but is getting better. He lost his tongue in the accident that claimed his bill. His artificial bill has a lifetime guarantee.

"That's the ultimate goal, that it lasts the rest of his life. If for some reason it doesn't, we'll 3D print some more and try a different attachment method," Williams said.

Normally, C-3 Ventures 3-D uses these machines to create parts for the auto industry, but when Blue's plight was made known to them, they couldn't resist offering to help.

"We saw this as a great way to promote the technology, do something very good for the duck as well as a community outreach opportunity," Williams said.

"They're wonderful, makes you cry. It's heartwarming," Alexander said.

When asked who would take care of the expenses, Blue said "just put it on my bill."



 
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