A tortoise has a second chance in life after a team of designers in Brazil custom-made a shell for the reptile, which was badly burned in a fire.
The Animal Avengers, the animal rescue group that saved the tortoise, consists of a 3-D designer (Cicero Moraes), four veterinarians (Roberto Fecchio, Rodrigo Rabello, Sergio Camargo and Matheus Rabello) and a dental surgeon (Paul Miamoto). The group combines technology with members' love for animals to create innovative ways to help maimed creatures. They have already saved seven animals that would have been euthanized, Moraes told ABC News.
"The tortoise Freddy was found alongside a road in early 2015. It had been the victim of a fire, and its hull caught fire, losing 85 percent of its structure," Moraes said. Freddy was taken to Rodrigo Rabello in Brasilia, Moraes said.
Moraes explained that the tortoise, a female, was named Freddy because her burned "back looked like the face of Freddy Krueger."
Moraes said the process for printing a 3-D tortoise shell is "relatively simple."
The 3-D designers took photographs of Freddy and a healthy tortoise and then used computer programming to design a custom prosthetic shell that was printed, layer by layer, by a 3-D printer. The prosthetic shell was then surgically attached to Freddy. An artist even hand-painted the outside of the shell so that it blended in with nature.
Moraes said his group previously created a 3-D-printed toucan beak, goose beak, parrot beak and macaw beak.