3D Printed Hermit Crab Shells
Posted on: 08/19/2012 05:44 AM

Who out there has ever owned a Hermit crab? Those and Beta fish pretty much have the market for first time pet owners covered. With that said, did you know that because of a shell shortage, a lot of these little guys are dying? (Heart breaking isn’t it?)

Project Shelter, in conjunction with (you guessed it!) 3D printers, are attempting to create artificial shells for these shy, little guys. Thanks to a partnership between MakerBot Industries (the nerdy, hipster-esque 3D printer-making company) and TeamUSA ( off all things), Project Shelter was born. They were given the task to create a biodegradable material that would naturally disintegrate as the crabs moved from an old shell to the new one, and was also suitable for 3D printing. Once a material was a deemed crab-approved, it was the job of biological researcher Dr. Katherine Bullinski to design the shape of the 3D printed shells. This task is more difficult that it may seem. Hermit crabs are picky; if a shell is too small, they will reject it; too large and the crab won’t feel secure.

After a few of test runs and tweaking, Project Shelter had finally found a shape that suited the reclusive crabs. Now, Hermit crabs everywhere will have access to a brand new, 3D printed, neon colored crab condominium. Snazzy!

Nostalgic for your little pet Hermit crab of yesteryears? Now is your chance to help! Project Shelter is looking for Hermit crab owner’s to volunteer their little pals for shell testing. They are also in need of anyone with experience in 3D printing and design. So go ahead, do you part in helping these litter critters of your childhood out. But if you don’t have a Hermit crab, or any experience in 3D printing, and you’re still reading, just go ahead and Like us on Facebook. The Hermit crabs will appreciate it.

Printed from 3DGeeks.com (https://3dgeeks.com/articles_pages/3d_printed_hermit_crab_shells,1.html)