Tortoise that Lost Its Shell in Fire Gets a One-of-a-Kind 3D Printed Shell

This is a story about one unfortunate tortoise that lost its shell in a fire but got a fairytale ending thanks to human kindness and advanced technology.

The tortoise we decided to talk about today was saved by a veterinarian Dr.Rabello. The good doctor found it after a fire almost burned its entire shell and the tortoise was on the verge of dying.

Before she was saved, the tortoise lived through hell. She had pneumonia, survived terrible burns, was almost starved to death and severely dehydrated. Due to its severe burns, she was nicknamed Freddy, after Freddy Kruger.

Unfortunately, tortoise shells cannot be regrown so if the doctors didn’t do anything, the tortoise had to live its remaining life with severe disabilities, without its protective shell. However, a team of specialist and volunteers from Brazil, named the Animal Avengers, wanted to do something to improve her life.

The team became famous around the world as a result of their kind heart and ingenuity. The started creating 3D printed prosthetics for all kinds of animals, including beaks for parrots, toucans and gooses. Now they decided to help Freddy get a brand new shell. They realized that they had a unique opportunity to help countless mutilated animals to regain their function and mobility and live a happy, normal life.

They measured other tortoise shells and decided to build one for Freddy using plastic. They printed the shell in a 4 pieces. The shell they created was virtually indestructible. First they created the 3D model then they printed it out with a 3D printer and finally they assembled it all together like a jigsaw puzzle. The printing process alone took forever, up to 50 hours per piece, but the team was patient and the end result was amazing. Finally, they integrated the prosthetic shell into Freddy’s remaining shell and the end result was superb.

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Once they whole process was finished, they asked a Brazilian artist to paint the white shell so that it can have a more realistic effect.

You can see the entire process of the shell’s creation and assembly, the first ever fully prosthetic shell, in a YouTube video. It’s the first ever built and yet the material to make it only cost 136 USD. It’s such a small price to pay for such a life-changing solution. We’re so happy that Freddy can continue its long, peaceful life with a brand new shell.