Tortoise Receives A 3D-Printed Shell After It Was Burnt In A Forest Fire

Freddy the tortoise, with her new shell. Caters News Agency.

Thanks to the help of volunteer group the "Animal Avengers," three-dimensional printing has come to the rescue of an animal in need once again.

This tortoise was discovered by veterinarian Rodrigo Rabello after it had lost an estimated 85 percent of its shell to a forest fire in Brazil. He named the female tortoise “Freddy,” because of her resemblance to Freddy Kreuger of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" fame.

Rabello considered putting the tortoise to sleep because her injuries were so severe. However, instead he teamed up with 3D designer and now fellow Animal Avenger, Cicero Moraes, who offered a helping hand. Moraes used a computer program to create a design based on another similar-sized tortoise shell and then constructed it with a 3D printer. The new shell is made out of four pieces of a low-cost corn-derived material that interlock together like a jigsaw.

Although the shell did its job in protecting the animal, it was originally an unnatural off-white color. That’s when they brought in artist Yuri Caldera to paint the shell, using specialized non-toxic paints.

While undergoing her recovery, Freddy suffered from bouts of pneumonia and didn’t eat for 45 days. However, her condition has remarkably improved and she now appears to live happily with her custom-made shell.

The Sao Paulo-based volunteers who collaborated on the project now go by the name of the "Animal Avengers.” In the past, this team of vets, surgeons, designers, and artists have also helped create prosthetics for three toucans, a parrot, and a goose.

Dr. Fecchio, another member of the self-proclaimed Animal Avengers, told MailOnline: “'We first came together as friends because of our common love of science and our love for animals.”

He added, “We soon realized we could do some extraordinary work using cutting-edge technology to push back the boundaries of life-saving care for mutilated animals by giving them customized prostheses.”

And this tortoise appears to be one example of that comradery.

The life-threatening condition in which Freddy was found in after being burnt in a forest fire. Caters News Agency.


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