The doctors set out to design and build a new 3D-printed shell for the tortoise. "Freddy was the first tortoise in the world to receive a fully rebuilt hull and the first creature that we, as a newly formed group of animal rescuers, decided to help," designer Cicero Moraes told the Daily Mail.
"To design the hull I took a series of pictures from all angles of Freddy as well as photos of a healthy tortoise to compare," said Moraes. "Then I reconstructed a 3D computer imaging model of the complete shell using the tortoise's exact measurements."
The Animal Avengers, made up of Dr. Paulo Miamoto, Dr. Matheus Rabello, Dr. Rodrigo Rabello, Dr. Roberto Fecchio, Cicero Moraes and Dr. Sergio Camargo, are based out of Sao Paulo. They decided to combine their veterinary powers when they realized that they all had something in common. "We first came together as friends because of our common love of science and our love for animals," said Dr. Fecchio.
"We soon realised we could do some extraordinary work using cutting-edge technology to push back the boundaries of life-saving care for mutilated animals by giving them customised prostheses," said Dr. Fecchio.
When the team went to fix a toucan's beak, Dr. Rabello was concerned that their prosthetic wouldn't be a viable replacement. "We were worried the renewable plastic used to make the prosthetics would not withstand the demands of a parrot's beak, which is used to crack nuts and to climb."
Using a process called photogrammetry, the team was able to calculate the precise measurements and size of the prosthetic so that the bird's new beak would be just as strong as the its original without feeling awkward for the toucan.