Project Shellter

A couple years ago, I wrote a patch for sage, an open source alternative to programs like Mathematica and Matlab, to allow it to export surfaces as STLs for 3D printing. Since then, I’ve seen a few uses of it pop up. Recently, it has been used for something extremely awesome: Project Shellter!

A 3D Printed Hermit Crab Shell

A 3D Printed Hermit Crab Shell (source)

They’re 3D printing hermit crab shells! And the shells are being adopted!

A Hermit Crab in a 3D Printed Shell

A Hermit Crab in a 3D Printed Shell (source via makerbot)

As someone who kept hermit crabs when I was younger, I think this is awesome!

Makerbot has a more thorough blog post, with a video of the shell being adopted.

4 Responses to “Project Shellter”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    The logical next step would be learning to make shells elaborately colored, and this is where Meinhardt-Klinger equations will come in handy:

    Click to access shells.sig92.pdf

    – GeorgeG

    • christopherolah Says:

      Yay, it’s a George!

      Also, ooh, pretty! And you could print them in shapeways coloured sand stone:

      I need to write something to handle those coloured 3D formats though… I really want to be able to print Riemann surfaces to show of complex multifunctions! Log in particular.

      In any case, it’s super awesome to see you!

  2. TeamTeamUSA Says:

    Thanks for the support Christopher!

    George, the paper you indicate was one of those informing the project. You may find this blog post on the project’s precedents interesting:

    You can read all the project posts here:



    • christopherolah Says:

      You’re very welcome!

      And the ending of that comment looks very familiar. Miles, is that you? I figured you were connected to this because it was so similar to the stuff I remembered you doing earlier… In any case, if so, awesome to see you! And to reiterate, the stuff you’re doing is very awesome.

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