MAY 27, 2016 11:31 AM PDT

Injured Tortoise Gets a Brand New 3D-Printed Shell

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

3D printing has shown off its many different forms of use by means of helping animals, to producing a cost-efficient manufacturing process, to assisting those in the medical industry with transplants and more.
So far, the industry has helped a toucan get its beak back, helped a sea turtle get a new jaw, and has even helped a duck get back on its feet. But now, another story about how the 3D printing industry has just changed an animal’s life is making headlines all over the internet this week.

Fred the tortoise has received a new 3D-printed shell after being involved ina  forest fire that destroyed her original one.

A female tortoise named Fred as apparently involved in a forest fire that destroyed more than 85% of its protective shell. Veterinarians reportedly found the tortoise in Brazil after it had managed to escape death from not only escaping the fire, but also through persevering on an empty stomach for a long period of time.

Before the replacement shell, Fred didn't look so good...

The veterinarians not only helped by feeding Fred, but experts in the 3D-printing field would create a new shell for the animal, layer by layer, and then hand-paint it to give Fred the coolest-looking shell on the block.
The shell was created very carefully by taking around 40 pictures of the animal at various angles, and then four pieces of a shell were manufactured in a 3D printer that could be affixed to one another to produce a full shell.
Simply printing the shell reportedly took up to 50 hours per piece, which meant the team had to wait a total of 8.3 days to have the four pieces. That didn’t even include the paint job.
Speaking of said paint job, the team hired Brazilian artist Yuri Caldera to make the shell look as authentic as possible, rather than an unnatural-looking solid white.

Fred appears to love her new shell, and can once again remain protected from the harsh outside world that is nature. It looks like 3D printing just mended another life that would have otherwise been destroyed.

Source: Huffington Post, YouTube

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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