Tortoise gets new 3D printed shell after severe burns

Fred the tortoise gained a new shell from four 3D-printed pieces, after it lost 85 per cent of its original one in a fire. The tortoise was named after horror character Freddy Krueger due to its burns.
Fred the tortoise gained a new shell from four 3D-printed pieces, after it lost 85 per cent of its original one in a fire. The tortoise was named after horror character Freddy Krueger due to its burns.PHOTO: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Fred the tortoise gained a new shell from four 3D-printed pieces, after it lost 85 per cent of its original one in a fire. The tortoise was named after horror character Freddy Krueger due to its burns.
Fred the tortoise gained a new shell from four 3D-printed pieces, after it lost 85 per cent of its original one in a fire. The tortoise was named after horror character Freddy Krueger due to its burns.PHOTO: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

BRAZIL • A badly burnt tortoise in Brazil has been given a second chance after a rescue team built it a custom-designed 3D printed shell.

Fred the tortoise was found along a road early last year. It had lost about 85 per cent of its shell in a fire, according to 3D designer Cicero Moraes, who is part of a Brazilian animal rescue group called Animal Avengers that looked after Fred and built its new shell.

The process of building the hand-painted shell began by taking about 40 pictures of Fred from all angles and comparing them to photos of a healthy tortoise, The Huffington Post reported, quoting a press statement from Animal Avengers and Brazilian media reports.

"It took about 40 photos (to build a model and reconstruct the shell). We took a healthy animal, took the same 40 photos, reconstructed that animal in 3D and put it into the computer," Mr Moraes told Fantastico, a Brazilian news outlet.

Using a desktop 3D printer, the design was printed out in four individual pieces from a corn-based plastic.

"Just to make a single piece took 50 hours of printing," Dr Paulo Miamoto, a dental surgeon who was part of the Animal Avengers team, told Fantastico.

Once printed, the four pieces were assembled on top of Fred, like a jigsaw puzzle. The prosthetic shell was then surgically attached.

Fred is now living with another member of the team, Dr Rodrigo Rabello, who found Fred and named it after horror film character Freddy Krueger because of the severe burns it suffered.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'Tortoise gets new 3D printed shell after severe burns'. Print Edition | Subscribe