A lady Japan, AKI INOMATA (born 1983) who completed graduate studies in intermedia art at Tokyo University of the Arts, has a brilliant and whimsical idea of creating “homes” for hermit crabs using 3D printing. As hermit crabs grow, they require larger shells. Since suitable intact gastropod shells are sometimes a limited resource, vigorous competition often occurs among hermit crabs for shells.Hermit crabs kept together may fight or kill a competitor to gain access to the shell they favour. The project “Why Not Hand Over a «Shelter» to Hermit Crabs?” presents miniature cities made by 3D printer transformed into the shell of a hermit crab. The shells looking like small jewels in form of the cities’ panoramas and architecture from around the world are given to the living crabs, who use them in their natural environment. The work explores the ideas of identity, nationality, migration, place of residency and the blurring division between natural and constructed world.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to create a three-dimensional object in which successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced using digital model data from a 3D model or another electronic data source such as an Additive Manufacturing File (AMF) file. The 3D printing industry already serves four quite distinct market segments, all of which are at different stages of maturation.the most mature market for 3D printing involves the production of prototypes. The use of 3D printers to fabricate the molds and other tooling from which final products are made are growing rapidly as well. Next, we have direct digital manufacturing (DDM) — or in other words, the use of 3D printers to make final products or parts thereof. And finally we have the very new market for personal fabrication. Whether or not they arrive en-mass in the home, 3D printers have many promising areas of potential future application as very significant developments continue to accrue.
Source : City Lab and Wikipedia