Hermit crabs don't make their own shells. They scavenge their homes: in the
wild their main source of homes is from deceased snails. When the snail dies,
the hermit crab moves into the shell. MakerBot Industries, in partnership with
Miles Lightwood, AKA TeamTeamUSA, created Project Shellter, a worldwide
crowdsourced project to make replicated shells for pet hermit crabs.
The idea behind Project Shellter is that a community—MakerBot Operators
and members of Thingiverse—can reach out across species lines and offer
their digital design skills and 3D printing capabilities and give hermit crabs
another option: custom replicated shells (see Figure 2-8 ).
Figure 2-8. Project Shellter
To test the shell switching process of examination, switching, and adoption,
MakerBot Industries partnered with hermit crab researcher Dr. Katherine V.
Bulinski. They set up a crab habitat to test the hermit crab shell switching
behavior and to see if the crabs would take to the replicated shells.
MakerBot requested that Thingiverse users design and post a shell that her-
mit crabs could try out. As the shells are created, they were replicated at the
Botcave and placed in the crabitats.
As of spring of 2012, three hermit crabs have moved into MakerBotted shells,
but this is just the beginning. Will they prefer one color over another? If you