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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