Purps can finally clamber over rocks, swim, and strut her stuff like a normal African penguin.
Thanks to the ingenuity of middle school students and a 3D printing firm, an endangered African penguin named Yellow Purpose, or ‘Purps’ for short, is once again able to walk properly.
In 2011, the bird was injured during an altercation with a fellow penguin at Mystic Aquarium. Not until recently, however, was technology able to remedy the damage that was done five years ago.
Wired reports that students from Mystic Middle School in Connecticut teamed up with 3D systems, a local firm, and the aquarium to help Purps.
First, the children modeled a hand-moulded cast of the penguin’s foot. Unfortunately, this aid was too heavy for the penguin, so they decided to utilize 3D printing technology and develop a cast which would perfectly fit Purps’ leg and help her walk once more.
As you can view in the video below, they succeeded! Purps is shown clambering over rocks, swimming, and even wobbling through a classroom of children.
Sue Prince from Mystic Middle School told the press:
“This project not only helped a member of an endangered species, but it gave our students a hands-on understanding of the 3D-printing process.”
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