Meet The Lucky Tortoise Who Got A Brand New 3D-Printed Shell From University Students

A baby tortoise with a LEGO wheelchair is one thing, a brand new shell created with 3D printing technology by university students is another. That’s precisely what happened to a leopard tortoise named in Cleopatra who lives in Colorado.

Cleopatra suffers from pyramiding. Basically, if a tortoise isn’t cared for properly (and sometimes even if they are) parts of their shell will grow upwards, forming pyramid-like lumps. It’s the bane of tortoises and tortoise owners everywhere, but mainly for tortoises.

Hers was particularly severe due to her being fed a protein-heavy diet (tortoises are herbivores) before animal rescue took Cleopatra in. Pyramiding can make it difficult for tortoises to right themselves when they flip over. It can also lead to other, sometimes deadly complications.

So students at Colorado Technical University came up with a solution. They 3D-printed a sexy new plastic shell that fits over Cleopatra’s actual shell. The new appendage hides her unsightly lumps and evens out the surface so that, if overturned, she can right herself with ease.

via The Denver Post