Face of the day

INSIDE EDITION Fred after the fire.

Fred after the fire.

Today’s face of the day is Fred the tortoise, a tortoise barely alive.

Gentlemen we can rebuild her.

We have the technology.

We have the capability to make the world’s first 3D shell.

Fred the tortoise will have that 3D shell.

She will be better than she was before.




A tortoise that lost most of its shell in a forest fire got a 3D-printed prosthetic replacement, thanks to a team of specialists in Brazil.

…The female tortoise, named Fred, survived not just the blaze, but also made it through two bouts of pneumonia and not eating for 45 days.

“When we saw the animal in that state, we said ‘Wow! It looks like Freddy Krueger,’” Dr. Rodrigo Rabello, who found Fred and named her after the horror movie icon, told the Brazilian outlet, Fantastico. “It is the first prosthetic of a 3D shell of a tortoise in the world.”

The process of building Fred a new shell began by taking about 40 pictures of her from all angles and comparing them to photos of a healthy tortoise.

“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,” graphic designer Cicero Moraes told Fantastico.

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

…Once printed, the four pieces were assembled, like a jigsaw puzzle, on top of Fred to create a full hull.


Once complete, there was just one last issue. The shell was white and didn’t look authentic, so the team asked Brazilian artist Yuri Caldera to paint the replica to make it look like the shell Fred was born with. The group conducted research to find a paint that wouldn’t wear away the carapace or cause damage to Fred’s health.

Caldera painting Fred’s shell.
Fred with her new 3D shell

Fred with her new 3D shell


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  • PharmaBloke

    Faster ? where’re the racing stripes ?

  • Dumrse

    Mr Little, ARE YOU LISTENING, you can get the jump on the Nat Gov and solve the housing problem. The answer is within. On On.

    • Dave of the West Bank

      On On, Dumrse? Could be a falsie… :)

  • Tony Norriss

    At least this was a creature deserving of this sort of effort.

    I couldn’t believe an item I saw on TV where a duck that had lost its feet had 3-D feet printed for it. I thought it would have been much easier and tastier to have put the duck into a curry.

    • spanishbride

      Maybe not, my dad raves about turtle stew so tortoise might be yummy also :)
      I have to add that when he was a young man travelling Australia he and a friend gave up two whole days of their life to rescue baby turtles hatching on a beach, from the gulls that were swooping on them as they raced for the sea.

  • intelligentes candida diva

    Amazing clever people out there,
    I love these stories because its not always about help to who or what can provide the immediate gratification to man, it is due to the selfless spirit of man taking care of those unable to take care of themselves…. altruism is alive and well