Can 3-D Printing Help the Crab Housing Shortage?

Photo Credit: The Telegraph

Hermit crabs are having trouble finding housing in todays’ market.  One 3-D printing company is hoping to help out the housing shortage for homeless crabs.

MakerBot Industries wants to design and produces plastic shells that can be used as shells for these needy crabs.

According to Mother Nature Network, Project Shelter will create shells for hermit crabs, who are born with out shells.  Hermit crabs need to scavenge for shells after they are born in order to have protection from the weather and predators.

There is a shortage a shells is partly due to people picking up shells on beaches.  When the number of available shells are scarce, hermit crabs often find homes in glass bottles, shotgun shells, and other similar hollow cases.

MakerBot Industries is working with designer Miles Lightwood and research advisor Katherine Bulinski, a geoscientist at Bellarmine University, on the project.  MakerBot Industries wants to use its 3-D printer called the Thing-O-Matic to create the plastic shells.

Bulinski said she initially wanted to distribute the biodegradable shells along beaches but has instead decided to use the shells as an alternative to real shells for domestic hermit crabs.

 

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