Latest Beneficiary of 3D Printing: Hermit Crabs

Every now and then we run across a story that strikes us so odd, there is little we can do but repeat it without comment. Here’s the latest.

Housing shortage

OK, we’ll do the deep background first. It seems, hermit crabs do not make their own dwellings. They scavenge. In a pinch, they have been known to make do with empty bottles on the sea floor.

DIY 3D printer outfit Makerbot Industries claims, hermit crabs are facing a housing shortage because the worldwide shell supply is decreasing.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Project Shellter

Makertbot founder Bre Pettis says, “As a community, we can reach out to this vulnerable species and offer our digital design skills and 3D printing capabilities and give hermit crabs another option: 3D printed shells.”

The company produce a 3D printer and a digital design for a plastic shell. The Project Shellter initiative aims to harness a network of 5,000 Makerbots for the purpose of creating thousands of artificial homes for hermit crabs.

As of this writing, no one knows whether or not a hermit crab will actually move into a plastic shell.

About the author:

James has been a writer all his life. As a technical writer he pioneered online documentation and wrote end-user documentation for several computer manufacturers. His manuals have been praised in PCMagazine and Wired, among others. During a 14 year career in the U.S. navy (as a carrier jet aviator) James wrote a number of technical and classified publications. James has also written two novels and one stage play.

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