In late October, we brought you news of a new endeavor by the Makerbot community. The creator of the Thing-O-Matic, a printer that can create 3D objects, MakerBot was rallying its community of hackers, artists and makers to come up with alternative shells for homeless hermit crabs.
Two months later, we’re happy to report that the project appears to have been a success! In recent weeks, two hermit crabs in the “crabitat” at Shellter West in Los Angeles have adopted plastic shells that were created on a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer.
The Project Shellter team began by testing printed shells of all colors, sizes, and materials to learn what the crabs preferred. Residents of the “crabitat” were offered shells made from two plastics – ABS (what Lego is made from), and biodegradable PLA plastic. Both shell adoptions have been in shells modeled on that of the Oxystele sinensis sea snail, printed in ABS plastic, which is the standard material used by MakerBot to print objects.
All crab participants were kept under close surveillance during the project. Watch printed shell adoption #1 in the video below, and visit the Project Shellter below to see the second one.
Image Credit: Makerbot – Project Shellter