Hermit crabs occupy new homes in 3D shells printed by MakerBot Industries and TeamTeamUSA.
Project Shellter’s goal is to create a solution to the housing shortage faced by hermit crabs. Recently, 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.
Back in October, we covered Project Shellter on Crisp Green and we’re so happy that crabs are adopting their swanky new shells! Since hermit crabs don’t make their own shells, they must scavenge for homes. As the natural shell supply is decreasing, crabs have been forced to stick their butts into anything they can find like bottles or shotgun shells. With Project Shellter’s breakthrough, this no longer has to be the sad reality.
The Project Shellter team began by testing printed shells of all colors, sizes, and materials to learn what the crabs preferred. Both shell adoptions have been in shells printed in ABS plastic, which is the standard material used by MakerBot to print objects. Shell designs from the MakerBot community, like the black Ammonite shell pictured above, are posted on Thingiverse.com, and tagged with “SHELLTER.” Thingiverse is MakerBot’s online community where users can post digital designs and collaborate on open source hardware.
MakerBot Industries, the creator of the Thing-O-Matic 3D printer, and TeamTeamUSA, an art and technology collective, joined forces for this crowd-sourced science experiment. Cameras have been set up for constant viewing of both crabitats. To watch the crabs live visit Project Shellter’s YouTube page. For more info, visit MakerBot’s blog, Project Shellter’s FaceBook, and Twitter page.