Brazilian Tortoise Gets New Lease On Life Thanks To 3D Shell

Freddy was originally going to be put down after her shell was damaged in a fire, but a veterinarian worked hard to save her.

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Freddy came to veterinarian Rodrigo Rabello in bad shape. Rabello helped build her a new shell. Via GC Noticias
Freddy came to veterinarian Rodrigo Rabello in bad shape. Rabello helped build her a new shell. Via GC Noticias
John Virata

A red-footed tortoise whose shell was destroyed in a forest fire in Brazil last year got a new one thanks to 3D printing technology and some help from a Brazilian artist.

Freddy the tortoise’s hull was so badly damaged in a forest fire in Brazil’s Altiplano East sector that veterinarian Rodrigo Rabello was going to put the reptile down when she was brought to him. She had lost 85 percent of her shell in the fire, and her forelegs were badly burned, according to GC Noticias.

She had endured two bouts of pneumonia and had not eaten for nearly 45 days. But after the tortoise survived pneumonia, Rabello went to work to build a shell for her.

Freddy with her badly damaged shell, upper left. Middle and right details health tortoise with plastic shell fitment. Bottm left shows Freddy with new 3D shell. Bottom right shows Freddy with her painted shell. Via GC Noticias

Freddy with her badly damaged shell, upper left. Middle and right details healthy tortoise with plastic shell fitment. Bottom left shows Freddy with new 3D shell. Bottom right shows Freddy with her painted 3D shell. Via GC Noticias

He teamed up 3D designer Cicero Moraes, who used a free software program he downloaded off the Internet to create the shell. First he created a puzzle of four pieces that replicated a shell from a tortoise that was used as a reference. That model file was then sent to a 3D printer, which reproduced the shell with a plastic-like substance sourced from corn.

The pieces fit perfectly on Freddy, but there was one problem — the prosthetic shell was white as snow and looked unnatural on Freddy. So, Brazilian artist Yuri Caldera went to work on the shell, faithfully reproducing the coloration of Freddy, giving her the look of a real tortoise.

Because the shell might have to be modified in the future, Freddy (who was named after Freddy Krueger of “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies because her burned hull looked like Freddy Krueger’s burned face) will live out the rest of her life with Rabello.

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Comments

  • Amazing

    Sérgio Camargo March 22, 2016 3:49 pm Reply
  • Thank You For Saving Freddys Life,Your Are An Angel And A Hero For Doing This And I Know Freddy Is Very Thankful That You Saved His Life And Now Freddy Can Live His Days Of Good Free Loving Life And I Love You Freddy,Your So Awesome Beautiful Sweet Smart And So Cool Looking And The Awesome Shell Is So Awesome And Cool Looking !!!!

    Carrie Amidon March 23, 2016 3:44 am Reply
  • Pingback: Technology Saves a Tortoise - My Pet Source

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