3D Printing

Saving Some Baby Ducks using 3D Printing. Sort of.

Don’t throw out that spare heated 3D printing bed that you have laying around the workshop because if you ever come across some orphan ducks you may need it! No, not to 3D print them something – although 3D printed hats for baby ducks is an amazing idea – but you can do what blogger Elfnor did and convert that heated bed into an orphan duckling incubator.

I’m starting to think that the 3D printing mascot should be ducks, because let’s face it, people with 3D printers really love ducks. They give cute little ducks 3D printed prosthetic legs and then they go ahead and do it again. Ducks even help people keep their wayward hydration tubes under control. Heck they already 3D printed replicas of that giant floating duck so we’re half way there!

duck warmer 3d printing

When Elfnor’s partner saved some little ducks from certain death by cat, she did what anyone would do and did her best to make them comfortable. Using a large box and a desk lamp with an incandescent bulb she built a makeshift enclosure to try and keep the little guys warm. But after a few days of dealing with the hassle of using the inefficient desk lamp for warmth she started to think of better ways to keep her new duck friends nice and toasty.

Luckily she had recently built a heated bed for her Ultimaker 3D printer that wasn’t getting any use so she decided to see if she could turn it into a duck heating pad. Using a piece of glass salvaged from the door of an oven and some MDF wrapped in wool insulation she did some tinkering, built a duck warmer and managed to maintain the temperature at a constant 30c to 35c. After wrapping the bed in fleece for comfort and installing an insulated enclosure over half of the bed her new foster ducks had a new home that renters in New York City would be envious of.

duck warmer graphic 3d printing

“The ducklings are doing really well, we’ve been looking after them for about five days and they’re definitely bigger now and have about a two hourly routine of feeding, preening and sleeping,” Elfnor told me via email. “We haven’t really given them names as we can’t tell them apart but I’m thinking of “x”, “y” and “z”. We hope to release them back into the wild (well the local park) when they’re big enough and ready but we’ve found someone who’ll take them if needed.”

There really isn’t much that 3D printing can’t do, is there? Well, custom made 3D printing accessories at least. If you have your own duck orphans then you can read the entire story here and find out how to make your own duck-warming habitat.