Using 3D Printing to Help Homeless Hermit Crabs
October 25, 2011
Gird your sensitive, weakling hearts for this sad bit of news from MakerBot. The world’s hermit crab population is in danger, due to a shortage of shells for the diminutive crustaceans to use as homes. Apparently, the little guys are resorting to using trash as shelter, which is OK at Burning Man and your first year Design/Build project, only.
MakerBot Artist-in-Residence Miles Lightwood is attempting to use 3D Printing technology to save the little guys.
The Shellter Project (!!!) is a crowdsourced effort to create and print viable shells en masse for use by the crabs. Lightwood is asking software-literate designers everywhere to submit shell models for testing to the MakerBot Thingiverse. Here’s the first iteration to be uploaded, which the designer says is based on a Cittarium Pica Sea Snail, but “mirrored from the original exported file because a hermit crab needs a right-handed shell spiral due to the way its abdomen curves.”