This injured tortoise can now rock a 3D-printed shell

Cleopatra is a royally-named tortoise with a royal problem: she has a condition know as “peaking” or, rather appropriately considering her name, “pyramiding”, a disorder that prevents her shell from growing smoothly. This is an issue because tortoises mount each others backs for a variety of reasons from mating to simple play and Cleopatra’s uneven pyramids have resulted in excessive wear and tear to her shell, which in tortoises can lead to disease.


To remedy the situation Nico Novelli, the owner of Canyon Critters Reptile Rescue in Golden, Colorado, turned to Roger Henry, a student at Colorado Technical University and Cleopatra the Tortoise is now the proud owner of a shiny, red 3D-printed shell that protects her from harm.


3D printing is one of the most hyped and eagerly watched technologies emerging today with 3D printers churning out everything from high fashion to cars.

It’s not the first time that 3D printing technology has been used to help an animal with special needs either. Remember Turbo, the chihuahua who went from having no front legs to a  spiffy set of wheels?


The good news is Cleopatra’s shell is expected to heal over time. Until then, looking good Cleo.


[HuffPost Green | Photos: Gary Stefanski, RJ Sangosti, Getty Images]