Techno-Tort: 3D Printed Protection for Desert Tortoises



Within the Mojave Desert, Hardshell Labs employs “techno-torts” as deterrents in opposition to predatory ravens, aiming to guard weak desert tortoises. These younger tortoises, with their gentle shells, fall prey to the ravens’ pecking, inflicting a pointy decline of their inhabitants.

Tim Shields, the founding father of Hardshell Labs, noticed the necessity for technological intervention. With the imaginative and prescient of making a convincing fake tortoise, he collaborated with designer Frank Guercio, who used Autodesk Fusion360 for the duty.

Techno-Tort: 3D Printed Defense for Desert TortoisesDecoy tortoises, to baffle ravens. (Picture Credit score: Hardshell Labs)

Guercio utilized this device to craft a 3D printed imitation tortoise shell for aversive coaching. This design not solely mimics the looks of actual tortoises but in addition options an intriguing protection mechanism. On contact from a pecking raven, the techno-tort releases a twig of synthetic grape flavoring, a scent that, peculiarly, repels birds. Fusion 360 has been instrumental in realizing Guercio’s progressive designs for conservation.

“Having the ability to import actually advanced geometries like an natural form, like a tortoise, may be very tough to do in any form of trade program,” mentioned Guercio.

“On the subject of the tortoise particularly, there was a lot legwork on the again finish to get it right into a place the place I may then mechanically edit it as an object. Fusion 360 has been a incredible device. We are able to create constructions within the tortoise that was subsequent to not possible about 5 years in the past.”

Hardshell LabsA raven will get a beakload of shock. (Picture Credit score: Hardshell Labs)

The 3D printed techno-torts may probably herald a shift in conservation methods, leveraging know-how for ecological steadiness. As industries evolve, the combination of technological options in conservational efforts would possibly develop into extra prevalent.


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