Tortoise That Lost Shell In Fire Receives World’s First 3D-Printed Shell

Jul 04, 2020 by apost team

A tortoise is unlike many animals since it cannot bolt away from danger. However, nature did give the tortoise a shell to protect him from danger. In 2015, Freddy the tortoise lost his protective shell in a forest fire in Brazil. But with the help of a group of Brazilian veterinarians, artists, and 3D designers, Freddy was able to get a new 3D-printed, hand-painted shell.

Unfortunately, risk comes in many forms. Fire is one of them. In a terribly sad story, a tortoise found himself the victim of a fire. The poor creature lost 85 percent of his shell due to the burns, according to ABC News. Thankfully, a team of designers — namely, 3-D designer Cicero Moraes; veterinarians Roberto Fecchio, Rodrigo Rabello, Sergio Camargo and Matheus Rabello; and dental surgeon Paul Miamoto — came up with a life-changing idea. They helped fit the tortoise with a 3D-printed shell.

Someone found Freddy alongside the road in 2015. They took the injured tortoise to Dr. Rodrigo Rabello in Brasilia, according to ABC News. Rabello named the tortoise Freddy after the terribly burned villain of the Nightmare On Elm Street films, Freddy Krueger. The tortoise's situation, however, was no laughing matter.

Dubbed the "Animal Avengers," the 3D printing team had helped other animals before by 3D-printing birds' beaks. But treating Freddy was their first time replacing a tortoise's shell. First, the team took photos of Freddy and a healthy tortoise in order to design a prosthetic shell model on the computer, as ABC News details. Shortly thereafter, they were able to print Freddy's new shell, which they surgically affixed to Freddy's body.

What do you think of Freddy getting a 3D printed shell? Let us know in the comments — and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!