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3D Printing to Save Wall Street (2)

mfh (56) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809182)

By printing more suckers.

Re:3D Printing to Save Wall Street (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809472)

Forget the Wall Street suckers, how is more plastic junk in the ocean a good thing?

Re:3D Printing to Save Wall Street (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809558)

Plastic is an organic compound and will break down a lot faster than the mineral structure of "natural" seashells.
What we consider to be unpleasant but non-toxic waste does not necessarily have to be bad for the sea-life.
For example a car-wreck dumped into the ocean can make a great substitute for coral reefs.

Re:3D Printing to Save Wall Street (2)

Tomato42 (2416694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809966)

What AC said is true. One though has to remember to remove oils (including the gearbox, transmission, etc.) and fuel. Rest will work quite well as a reef seed.

Re:3D Printing to Save Wall Street (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37812818)

While nature can efficiently route around human garbage to an extent, this is hardly an argument for more of it in the ocean.

Re:3D Printing to Save Wall Street (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37813936)

When it takes the form of a new habitat for a species in need?

I don't think most people would think of making the sea a graveyard for old ships, but it's pretty common now to sink old battleships to create new reefs.

Having said that, I hope they test the living daylights out of those shells first. They need to make sure the plastics aren't harmful, that they work as protection, that they don't poison/choke other animals, that they're heavy enough, that the crabs will actually use them.... Honestly, they might be better off selling the plastic shells and using the money to buy real shells to dump back into the environment.

Re:3D Printing to Save Wall Street (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809992)

I thought the problem on wall street was too many suckers, not enough suckees.

New Shells? (4, Funny)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809184)

Perhaps it could be named "Project bash"?

Re:New Shells? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809366)

My sister sells C shells for the sea shore

Re:New Shells? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37811698)

everybody knows beach shopping is full of rip-offs and inferior products

Re:New Shells? (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37811970)

I use 'zsh'ells, you insensitive clod!

Re:New Shells? (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37812298)

I am DMCAing your post.

Real problem? (3, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809190)

Is there any evidence that this is a real problem, as opposed to an art project, PR stunt, or whatever?

Re:Real problem? (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809296)

Indeed! How about focussing on why there is a shortage of natural shells? Is there a gastropod sickness going around? Are the mollusks dying off for some reason?

Also, shouldn't we be making these pseudo-shells out of glass or ceramic rather than some potentially toxin leaching plastic?

Re:Real problem? (4, Informative)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809340)

Natural shells are in short supply because people pick them up and take them home.

No source other than my marine biologist wife and years of living near Florida beaches.

Re:Real problem? (1, Troll)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809374)

some get the shells, some just get crabs.

Re:Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809606)

But crabs itch!

Re:Real problem? (4, Interesting)

steelframe (590694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809562)

When my wife and I were in Fiji years ago she would set the nice shells she had collected that day out on the deck to dry out. In the morning the shells was scattered and the best were always gone. It was like a crab used car lot where they drive in with a Pinto and leave with a Porsche. A one stop shop that I'm sure the crabs appreciated.

Re:Real problem? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37810150)

Ya, that sucks. Good thing she didn't crabjack them though. I bet the Fiji government wouldn't be too happy about that.

Re:Real problem? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37810344)

Yet in the seafood industry, shells are tossed in the trash. Escargot shells should be "recycled".

Re:Real problem? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 2 years ago | (#37810348)

I'm honestly not even sure that it's considered a major problem, I just know that people taking shells home is at least something of a concern for biologists.

Re:Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37810590)

But we eat shelled molluscs. We farm them. Where do the shells go? Why not dump these on the beaches instead of toxic nerd waste?

Re:Real problem? (1)

Linknoid (46137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37810982)

Oyster shells are ground up and fed to chickens as a source of calcium. Chickens need a lot of calcium to keep laying eggs every day, and if they get deficient, they can lay the eggs with thin or even no shells.

Actually, I wouldn't be too surprised if they actually used them in human calcium supplements as well. (I have no idea if they do, but it would seem reasonable.)

Re:Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809360)

I was under the impression that the problem was the oceans absorbing carbon dioxide, becoming acidic, and dissolving the shells of sea creatures.

Re:Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37810574)

Thanks to overblown hype it's easy to think that. The ocean is heavily basic, and 'acidification' just pushes it towards neutral. Without the CO2, there would be no calcium carbonate shells in the ocean at all. They represent a form of carbon sequestration. There is a lot of bullshit flying around about what a changing pH could do to the oceans but very little empirical facts to back any of it up. Look up Wikipedia if you want the scare story.

Re:Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809774)

I'm involved in the project. There's a virus, worldwide, preventing these types of shells forming naturally.

Re:Real problem? (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 2 years ago | (#37811250)

Says the AC with no citations.

Re:Real problem? (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814134)

Hmf, if that were true Madagascar's port would be closed by now.

Re:Real problem? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809422)

Bre Pettis is the PT Barnum of the geek crowd. That self-serving scam artist and his rickety "3D printer" are a real modern-day "pet rock", except for the price. Do people have any idea what REAL machine tools they can get for 1300$, let alone 2600$ for the "fully assembled" Makerbot? WHY are geeks so gullible?

If people are so concerned about hermit crabs, how many real shells can you buy for 1300$? How do people usually make habitats for hermit crabs?

BRE PETTIS YOUR PSYCHOPATHIC PR STUNT DOESN'T IMPRESS ME

But your 10 million$ sure does. Why can't I be this cold-blooded and exploit the geek naivete and enthusiasm, and apparently bottomless wallet?

Re:Real problem? (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | more than 2 years ago | (#37811108)

I understand your resentment/disgust about the cost of his "not real machine tool", but for comparison have you priced any commercially made plastic desktop prototyping machines? The cost of the makerbot, and supplies for a year, aren't even close to the cost of just the supplies for a commercial unit. You whine and bitch, but apparently have no idea of what he's done. He's brought desktop prototyping to people and organizations that otherwise wouldn't have a chance in hell of ever getting access to one.

I work in R&D, and we're always trying to come up with ways to build stuff faster/better/cheaper. One of our constraints is the accountants said we couldn't even have our own CNC machine until after the next fiscal year ($15,000 to start). So yes, I know EXACTLY what kind of REAL machine tools you can get for $2600. You can't get shit. I can easily spend that much just on tooling/fixtures without ever getting the actual CNC machine. Hell, the design software (Unigraphics NX) cost almost $20,000 A SEAT when I was learning it!

I know you're just a f'ing Anon Coward troll, but you show your total ignorance of the subject when you make a dumb ass post like that.

Re:Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37812366)

The fact is there are services that will gladly take your STL models and do a *professional* job of making your model. For 1300$, I can get a lot of plastic googaws made. I don't need to buy the 200k$ STL resin caster.

Your ignorance comes from the fact you are comparing what is ostensibly a "hobby" machine to professional machines. You can buy perfectly fine hobby level machines on eBay fro 1300$ that come with a solid metal base, ball screws and a controller.

The fact that you can get so much more material for that price alone should make geeks revolt against Makerbot. Yet they don't. Bre Petttis simply stole the RepRap, an open source project, and is charging lunatic amounts of money for that rickety piece of shit.

Do some Amazon searches, do some eBay searches. You are a fucking piss poor R&D guy if you can't find some interesting tools for 1300-2600$.

It's a good thing you're anonymous too, fucktard, cuz I'd want to see you in the office Monday morning. You'd use a Makerbot at a professional place? I'd kick your teeth in.

Re:Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37812490)

I work in R&D, and we're always trying to come up with ways to build stuff faster/better/cheaper. One of our constraints is the accountants said we couldn't even have our own CNC machine until after the next fiscal year ($15,000 to start). So yes, I know EXACTLY what kind of REAL machine tools you can get for $2600. You can't get shit. I can easily spend that much just on tooling/fixtures without ever getting the actual CNC machine. Hell, the design software (Unigraphics NX) cost almost $20,000 A SEAT when I was learning it!

It's more than possible to do CNC machining on the cheap. You're pretending this $15K machine with $20K software is the only possible option. It's not.

About 5-6 years ago I had a job designing controller boards (and writing the firmware for them) for an experimental type of gas pressure regulator. The guy who designed the regulators used a CNC machine to prototype the regulator bodies in various types of plastic. He had put the CNC machine together from major parts which can be acquired rather cheaply. I think the total cost including an old PC and the control software was under $2K. (I remember being tempted to try building one myself because it was so cheap. Unfortunately I don't remember the names of the parts any more, but in principle it's basically: buy a few axes of ballscrew drives plus stepper motors, buy a motor and chuck for the milling bit, buy a multichannel stepper controller compatible with the software you plan to use, assemble to taste.)

It produced great results. Some of the regulator bodies were as small as about 0.5" x 0.75", and required very fine, precise internal features (miniature O-ring seats, cavities for mounting internal components, etc.). Every single piece I've seen out of one of the hobbyist 3D printers looks crude and imprecise. I doubt we could have prototyped anything useful with one of them (unlikely that we'd ever have gotten anything which could seal up properly, as O-rings need to be compressed between smooth surfaces to form a good seal, and I also suspect that lots of 3D printer output would be quite porous and unable to contain pressure at all).

You can't build a full sized industrial grade CNC machine on the cheap, but you can definitely get something on the scale of these "makerbot" things which can make items of about the same size for about the same money, if not even cheaper. And it's not a new development either. But the 3D printers get lots of noise here on slashdot because OMG 3D PRINTER1!!!!!11!

Stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809740)

Is there any evidence that this is a real problem, as opposed to an art project, PR stunt, or whatever?

yes the evidence is it would be much much cheaper to make hermit crab shells by almost any method besides 3D printing. It's a stunt.

Re:Real problem? (2, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37810908)

This project is just so completely naive and asinine, it's hard to even know where to start. From their site:

"With a shell shortage, hermit crabs around the world are being forced to stick their butts into bottles, shotgun shells, and anything else they can find. This is not acceptable. As a community, we can reach out to this vulnerable species..."

First of all, scarcity of a resource- in this case, shelters- is just how things operate in nature. It's not a sign that something is necessarily wrong, because in a healthy ecosystem, there's never enough to go around for everyone. Trees in the rainforest compete with each other for light, jackals on the savannah fight each other for scraps of food, elephant seals fight each other for mates. Using the same logic as these guys, you would conclude that we should put grow-lights in the Amazonian rainforest to help the poor, light-starved seedlings on the forest floor. We should be flying tons of steaks to Africa to feed the jackals so they don't have to fight each other. We should run dating services for the seals.

Second of all, referring to hermit crabs as "this species" is a clear red flag that these people don't even have the slightest clue about marine biology, or conservation, or science in general. Hermit crabs aren't a species, they're a collection of over a thousand species, ranging from the little things you see in the pet store to giant palm-tree-climbing coconut crabs three feet across. Some of them use shells, some live in sponges instead of shells, some (like coconut crabs) only use a shell for part of their life cycle, and a number (including the giant Alaska King Crab) gave up on the whole snail shell thing millions of years ago. The point is, it might make sense to talk about saving certain species of hermit crab that are threatened, but to say that hermit crabs as a whole need saving just shows an ignorance of the science.

Finally, I can't actually find any reference to hermit crabs being endangered or listed on the IUCN redlist. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there are endangered species of hermit crabs, but until you've actually taken ten minutes on Google to determine whether there really are endangered species of hermit crab, and whether that actually results from a scarcity of shells, I think you're just wasting everyone's time.

Listen, if people want to make the world a better place, that's great. That's to be respected, and we need more of it, and we do more people who are concerned about taking responsibility for their communities, their world, and their environment. But good intentions aren't enough to make a difference. This kind of thing is just a waste of time and distracts from the people who are out there every day trying to solve problems that actually need solving. The technology is pretty cool, so there must be some way people could use it that would actually solve a real problem.

Re:Real problem? (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814314)

First of all, scarcity of a resource- in this case, shelters- is just how things operate in nature. It's not a sign that something is necessarily wrong, because in a healthy ecosystem, there's never enough to go around for everyone.

Sure, if humans weren't around to muck everything up, nature's balance would be fine. I've talked to a real marine biologist who said people take enough shells from the beach that there is a real shortage in certain areas. I would not call that a healthy ecosystem.

From TFA (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809200)

One of the challenges is that no one knows yet if hermit crabs will live in man-made plastic shells.

But hey so long as we can sell 5000 people more plastic filament replacements who cares, it's for a good cause, right?

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809250)

subby and tfa's author fail to realize this is just design, of course the real ones will be ceramic, if the project gets enough support

Re:From TFA (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809556)

3D printers can print with ceramics? I'm not up on 3D printing technology, but I thought they were all using plastics or similar in the printing.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809738)

Often in combination with sintering processes, some real 3D printers can use various metal and ceramic materials. AFAIK, makertwat is plastic only.

Re:From TFA (4, Interesting)

TexNex (513254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809276)

Hermit crabs will live in anything they can get their ass into and fully hide under. I've seen them "wear" bottle tops and in one case a plastic cup.

Re:From TFA (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809334)

This is true I had a pet hermit crab when I was younger and we couldn't find a shell big enough for it so I put one of my plastic toys in the cage with it and it took up residence in it the same day. Although, I have to admit that unless these crabs are in the wild it doesn't really matter because hermit crabs do not require a shell to survive it is only used for pretection from preditors. My hermit crab went without a shell for quite a while before I put a toy in the tank with it.

Re:From TFA (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809448)

I wonder then has anyone patented designer hermit shells for pets, it seems like the logical next step.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809720)

They (pet stores and tourist traps like the "Earthbound Trading Company") sell both hermit crabs AND designer painted and bedazzled (and logo'd) shells for them to "live" in.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37810298)

Not patented, but there are "designer hermit crab habitat" products on the web for purchase.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37811716)

Re:From TFA (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37812200)

I guess the answer to has it been invented yet is always yes, here's the link

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37810744)

from preditors

See I know that you hate Wall Street. But to let creditors seep into your spelling so much....

Re:From TFA (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809434)

One of the challenges is that no one knows yet if hermit crabs will live in man-made plastic shells.

But hey so long as we can sell 5000 people more plastic filament replacements who cares, it's for a good cause, right?

That has to be the goal of this. I have to hope, for the sake of our species, that no one is actually THAT stupid.

just plastic? (1)

mikerubin (449692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809216)

from the article: "But, a thought - how about we stop destroying hermit crab homes in the first place? Isn't putting too much plastic stuff in the ocean part of the problem? "

Is plastic (ABS) the only thing a Makerbot can work with?

Re:just plastic? (2)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809370)

RepRap, the design the Makerbot was based on, can and has printed with ABS, PLA, Polycarbonate, PET, and Nylon (though vague worries about fumes have meant it's rarely used). As long as you can feed it into the extruder and set the correct temperature, you can print any thermoplastic.

Re:just plastic? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809420)

from the article: "But, a thought - how about we stop destroying hermit crab homes in the first place? Isn't putting too much plastic stuff in the ocean part of the problem? "

Is plastic (ABS) the only thing a Makerbot can work with?

Any 3-d printer can make a shell, or pretty much anything that fits inside its work envelope. A makerbot is one specific type of 3d printer. I'm very intermittently building my own 3-d printer out of aluminum bar stock, following the most recent reprap design, at which point I'll be able to print stuff such as another, bigger reprap printer...

plastic (ABS) implies theres only one plastic that being ABS. I see you didn't even look at the makerbot website, since they sell water soluble PVA and sorta biodegradable PLA. PLA would probably be an OK selection. Pretty much any thermoplastic plastic could theoretically be used if you're willing to make your own extruder, I'm thinking of fooling around with styrene and maybe PE. Even a thermoset plastic could probably be used if you're super motivated and/or crazy.

What about the homeless Americans? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809218)

What about the many homeless Americans? Many of these are people who lost everything due to "free trade", which resulted in their livelihoods being shipped off to third-world shitholes where the job is only done cheaper because the working standards and living standards are so much lower, and the foreign currencies' values are kept artificially low. The rest of them are usually veterans who fought valiantly for America. So it's "communist" to help out these people, but you hipster designers will spend time and money printing shells for fucking hermit crabs? What the hell?

Re:What about the homeless Americans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809354)

Oh man, what a weak troll.

Re:What about the homeless Americans? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809380)

Crabs have better lobbyists.

Re:What about the homeless Americans? (2)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809468)

I'm going to print the worlds smallest violin and play it just for you, troll.

How much $$$ will that cost ? (-1, Troll)

dev537 (2491874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809220)

How much ink will that cost to do such large scale operation?
For example to create this awsome work of art [evenweb.com] the creators paid around 12000$ for printer and around 7500$ for ink.
They are really going to be broke

Re:How much $$$ will that cost ? (2)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809260)

goatse - someone mod this troll down, please.

Re:How much $$$ will that cost ? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809432)

Phew, thanks, he nearly got me, I had the tab open even.

I was wondering what 3D printing project would cost 3 or 4 digits in materials. I figured it would be some huge thing constructed from 3D printed modules.

On the other hand a $12k printer is always a possibility and I wanted to see this huge and awesome machine (which was in fact, goatse's butt).

Abandoned Shells? (1)

Sduic (805226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809226)

man-made shell shortage (they inhabit abandoned shells)

Well, that explains where my Thompson shell went...

What? (1)

TexNex (513254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809236)

I don't know about anywhere else but, the hermit crabs out here aren't hurting for shells. The problem should be even worse as they are in competition with young coconut crabs too.

Re:What? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37811882)

There are definitely places where there are shortages of the kinds of shells needed by some kinds of hermit crabs. Some of them are pretty particular about the exact shape of what they move into. (Others, as mentioned above, are pretty much generalists.)

Whether there's a shortage in any particular locale can depend on lots of factors. S.J.Gould in one of his articles mentioned a kind of hermit crab that would only live in the shells of a now (recently) extinct species of mollusk. They were pretty durable shells, but they were wearing out, even so. People didn't seem to be involved in the affair except for documenting it. So this was just another case of normal "evolution in action".

Insane costs? (-1, Troll)

dev546 (2491886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809268)

How much ink will that cost to do such large scale operation?
For example to create this awesome work of art [evenweb.com] the creators paid around 12000$ for printer and around 7500$ for ink.
They are really going to be broke

Re:Insane costs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809306)

GOATSE, DO NOT CLICK

For fuck sakes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809314)

Since when were hermit crabs anywhere close to threatened? They give them away free in Ocean City.

More plastic in the ocean. Yay! So hipster assholes have something else to be smug about.

Plenty of Hermit Crab homes in my front yard . . . (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809318)

FTFA:

With a shell shortage, hermit crabs around the world are being forced to stick their butts into bottles, shotgun shells, and anything else they can find.

I keep tellin' them pesky neighborhood ranch association folks that it ain't no trash in my front yard. That there's a Hermit Crab Sanctuary.

And them crabs keeps their kids off my lawn.

At least I think there's still a lawn down there below the trash.

They are crazy? (-1, Troll)

dev823 (2491892) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809320)

How much ink will that cost to do such large scale operation?
For example to create this awesome work of art [evenweb.com] the creators paid around 12000$ for printer and around 7500$ for ink.
They are really going to be broke

Re:They are crazy? (1)

Blymie (231220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809386)

Goatcx link

This is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809378)

The strength of makerbot is that lets people be creative, make things, and share their stuff. Mass producing something by telling everybody to make the same thing is counterproductive. Use molds or something if you want mass production, it will probably cost less when you look at the energy bill anyway.

Re:This is stupid (5, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809482)

Mass production doesn't allow for the creative preferences of the crab population. By establishing a reference model shell standard as a starting point, all manner of customization can then be offered as upgrades - multiple rooms, fancy foyers, etc. Although perhaps not every crab should look for the upscale options, with some clever financing alternatives it should be possible to create an open ended boom in the marketplace and enable crabs of all means to look forward to ever rising valuations.

Not to downplay this or anything... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809400)

I can't seem to find any scholarly source that would say they(hermit crabs) are actually short on shells...

also, it appears the shit they are proposing to use can be harmful to albatrosses.

I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809424)

But this probably takes the cake.

I have to hope this is just a (lame) attempt at advertising, and not that the dimwits involved in this actually believe that its better for the hermit crabs to ship plastic around the world, manufacture it into the spools the MakerBot uses, then use all that electricity to fabricate a plastic shell, and then tossing *plastic* into the ocean is actually going to help hermit crabs.

You know, hermit crabs -- an animal of which there are billions in the ocean. (I'm sure a few thousand suckers making these will really help the species!)

You know, an animal that will live in ANY scavanged hollow-enough item.

And if said dimwits actually believe they're helping anything, it just goes to show the aversion to reason and science isn't limited to the radical right.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (2)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809530)

Not to mention that the ABS plastic used in a maker bot *floats*

I had already posted a comment on MB's web page last Friday, asking if this was just a publicity stunt, but for some reason it wasn't moderated as approved...

Simon

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809726)

ABS sinks in water. It's density is about 1.2 g/cm3 so it's 1.2 times heavier than water. Of commonly used plastics, only PE and PP float in water. The rest sinks.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809768)

Print a solid block from a maker bot - set infill to 100%, put it in water and watch it float. I know it does, because I tried it. Perhaps it's due to air that gets trapped by mistake, but "solid" ABS plastic prints from maker bots float.

Simon

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37813570)

Then indeed this must be due to air enclosures: either in the material, or in the final shape of the object you made (small spaces very easily trap air, for example). Most plastics shrink quite a bit when cooling down, and as I understand the makerbot uses molten plastic to make its shapes, and that also can create air bubbles inside the material.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809582)

Well of course the cynic would say Global Warming is just too big, there is nothing I can do about it, so I won't cut down on my driving or turn off unnecesarry light or try to help out in any way. But the optimist would say, I can do something, what I do may not solve the entire problem but I am working it in the right direction.

After all your value as a human comes from your actions.

I am sure there are places in the world that do not have a shell shortage, and places in the world that do. In those places that do and hermit crabs are part of the ecosystem, maintaining their presences helps to keep the ecosystem from colapse. Keeping ecosystems from colapse is a good thing, It saves fisheries and saves tourism (if you only repsond to economic arguments) and saves webs of life if you are tuned into a more general focus.

In any event dissing this attempt to do good, by saying no action should be taken, without coming up with some alternative is just negative lazy, unconcerned thinking. Try thinking of other ways of solving the problem and join the side that is trying to push forward not pull other people back.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809754)

Exactly

Here's what happens, young person with good heart tries to solve world problem with technology. Problem is, they never left their parent's basement.

They doesn't have the SLIGHTEST idea of the depth of the problems. They most likely lived in suburban America (or maybe Western Europe) and they think the whole world has a WalMart and they couldn't duct tape anything to save their lives...

Hence, they go and create water filters "for poor regions" for $100 a pop. Pro-tip: in poor regions, families don't make $100 PER YEAR

Really? You're gonna 3D print SHELLS for CRABS? A simple time + money calculation shows they're F.O.S. Not to mention the pollution aspects.

This idea may work if you stamp shells made from recycled paper+cardboard. I said MAY

3D print? It's time to leave the basement and go for a big adventure, like riding the subway.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37811040)

I agree that these guys are idiots, but it does raise a question. Isn't there some pressing need out there that cheap 3D rapid prototyping could help solve? What are the unique capabilities of this technology, and what problems would this technology be uniquely suited to solving? For instance, if you wanted to make components for cheap water filters, 3D rapid prototyping isn't the way to go. You'd get a Chinese company to manufacture the components cheaply in large quantities and then ship them to Africa. But there are advantages that a 3D rapid prototyper has that the Chinese factory doesn't- (1) it is rapid, since as soon as you have the design you can start manufacturing it, (2) it can be done anywhere in the world, so you could manufacture the components where they need to be used, instead of waiting for them to come in from the factory, and (3) it is cost effective to make limited numbers of parts, or even to make unique parts. Basically, rapid prototyping is useful when you only need to make one of something, and you need it right now. Are there any pressing problems we could solve with that kind of technology? Offhand I can't think of anything, but there must be *something* these machines are good for, besides making that one Lego part you need to finish your spaceship.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37811188)

Great points!

I think you nailed it, "rapid prototyping is useful when you only need to make one of something, and you need it right now"

    One thing I've heard about 3D printed things is that things made with it are very brittle, still, I know it's used for implants, I think they do a prototype then make it into a mold and cast something with other materials.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37811256)

But.. but.. but... it helps me expunge some of the guilt I feel because I live in a first world country.

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (1, Informative)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37812494)

and then tossing *plastic* into the ocean

and from their website:

The goal is to create a printable hermit crab shell for domestic use thus reducing harvesting of natural shells

So unless you live in the ocean, that's not their intention.
I mean I get it.. you don't give a shit about hermit crabs, that's your prerogative, but these guys do. I can understand, we had a couple at the office and they were good pets! I do hope that you realize though, that if it wasn't for people like this, who try to help where others don't, the world would be a shitty(^Hier) place.
It may be stupid, it may be illogical, it may even be pointless, but dammit at least they are trying. Good intentions are good intentions, and the world needs more. (Can we make them with a MakerBot?)

Re:I've seen a lot of dumb things on Slashdot ... (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37813096)

Good intentions are good intentions, and the world needs more. (Can we make them with a MakerBot?)

That's just plain moronic. Good intentions mean nothing when the only thing behind them is ignorance. The world is far better off with the ignorant masses doing nothing then the new rising trend of trying to do something. While there are certainly people on the side of ignorance who are doing it with bad intentions (denying vaccines, climate change, pushing creationism, or other trendy cause du jour), the vast majority of people pushing those agendas believe they're doing it with good intentions.

The world needs *less* good intentions, because good intentions mean nothing in the real world. Intelligent action is what the world needs more of.

Need a better name for your project? (3, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809452)

...Why not Zoidberg?

(especially since the episode where Zoidberg finds a shell has some of the best quick gags in the series.)

Re:Need a better name for your project? (1)

drussell (132373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809514)

Zoidberg... Homeowner! :)

I don't know if this is such a good idea (1)

g00ey (1494205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809488)

There are plenty of plastic objects in the sea causing a lot of problems for the sea-living animals and I don't think we need to add to these problems. Check out the following video:

Chris Jordan on the Midway Project [youtube.com]

I love the outrage in their comments! (2)

Quadfreak0 (624555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809490)

Scroll down past the article, there's more insight in the comments than the actual story. Makes you wonder if anyone really thought about the impact of 5000+ pieces of plastic going into the ocean hoping that these crabs take shelter... I really hope they have some more in depth research other than, "our pet hermit crab loves them!" There must be a reason glass blowers across the US haven't tackled this yet.

Re:I love the outrage in their comments! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37811402)

I'm pretty sure glass blowers have their hands full with custom bong orders.

Next month's story (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809612)

3D printers being used to craft weighted shoes for hermit crabs found floating in tidal pools due to plastic shells.

Has any stopped to think that these plastic shells will be just as much a novelty to collect on the shore? I'd want one.

2004 previous attempt (3, Informative)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37809670)

This was tried in 2004 http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/13/demaray.php [cabinetmagazine.org]
TFA goes into detail on the reasons and shows actual experiments with prototypes.

Loss of a Species as Boiling a Frog (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37809976)

Going to public beaches in the US, it may be difficult to appreciate just how much this species has been depleted. For all of the years of going on vacation at US beaches, I only ever saw one hermit crab, the size of a pea. Last year we went to Costa Rica, and it was the same story on public beaches there. No hermit crabs to be found. Not even many intact shells to be found. When we went to a protected national park, however, it was a different story. You stepped onto the beach and the beach was running away from you. It was impossible to find an unoccupied, intact shell. There were easily ten or more hermit crabs per square foot.

I suspect that that's what US beaches would be like if there were homes for hermit crabs available on the beaches. Just because you've never seen them in the wild, it's easy to assume that they're rare or don't belong there. In fact, the case is that these critters are already massively depleted!

Plastic is fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37810286)

Shame that i can't upload videos to these retorts. I have a definite answer to whether the crabs accept plastic, with a couple of crabs, filmed here in okinawa, where they seem quite content to inhabit the bottlenecks of pet bottles. Plastic surely works.
The funny thing is that there is no shortage of real shells here.
Cozy plastic.

Sounds pretty dumb (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#37810342)

Makerbot is useful for making small runs of items, possibly one offs. By comparison to other forms of manufacture it is a time & energy intensive process. Using a technology like this for mass production sounds like a dumb idea from the get go.

If were as simple as printing off some shells to save the species that marine biologists could phone an order to China and have a boxes of these things shipped to their door for a reasonable sum. I'm also fairly certain that there must be hundreds of potentially viable containers / shell substitutes in common use which could be collected by kids and tipped over the side into the sea without any further manufacturing effort. Look how many vials, bottles and tubs humans produce and it's not hard to see how many could be suitable for crabs.

Re:Sounds pretty dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37811604)

yep.. just toss your plastic cups on the beach. would work just as well for the crabs.

but not so well for the makerbot owners ego and it wouldn't be as cute. besides, are they going to manufacture these for eternity? for a species that is not actually threatened or vital to anything?

Re:Sounds pretty dumb (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37811942)

Everybody here seems to be thinking of hermit crabs as being one species. Or at least having identical preferences. This isn't correct. I don't know if any hermit crab would use the shells printed by a makerbot, but certainly there are lots of hermit crabs that wouldn't. For ANY design. It's worse than designing one pair of shoes for all people, and more like designing one pair for all primates.

It's true, though, that some species of hermit crab seem to be willing to adopt any of a wide variety of homes. Those crabs aren't suffering from a dearth of choices. The ones that are suffering are the ones that are choosier. And some are quite choosey. To the point where it's almost guaranteed that any particular pattern wouldn't work for them unless it was custom designed. (And then they might not like the chemical taint.)

Re:Sounds pretty dumb (1)

Obliquitous Cowherd (689384) | more than 2 years ago | (#37812042)

ha ha, taint

Re:Sounds pretty dumb (1)

laird (2705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37813708)

The point of 3D printers, of course, is that they can make unique items. It'd be fun to algorithmically generate unique shells to see what the hermit crabs like.

The thing that people here seem to be forgetting is that this is just a weird art project, like all of the "contests" that Makerbot runs. They're not seriously trying to save hermit crabs, any more than they were trying to get people to wear plastic printed bow-ties, or collect things based on a model of Stephen Colbert, or any of their other contests. They're just trying to come up with fun things for people with 3D printers to do.

The comments on the original site are correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37811006)

Please just read them and then you realize this is a terrible solution to a non-existant problem.

put to rest some of the "toxic plastic" concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37811758)

I read this on another site, and it might put to rest some of the "toxic plastic" concerns:

"Most likely they'd use PLA, polylactic acid plastic. Made from corn starch, tapioca, or sugarcane, and it biodegrades. Like half the Makerbot stuff uses PLA, it's got a very low melting point and runs faster than ABS."

Thousands of printers to make the same thing? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37812196)

Why not invest a little money in the hard tooling to make a lot of these things and stamp them out in volume. These 3D printers are suited for one-off designs, not for mass fabrication of large quantities of the same thing.

However, putting together a fundraiser to pay for high volumes of what the hermit crabs actually need won't get the hype and eyespace that this project will. Nor will it sell more stuff to a demographic with a significant disposable income.

I had a professor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37812340)

I had a professor that tried this for her studies awhile ago. It was a complete failure. She could not get hermits to prefrence the fab over the natural. She tried many types of printers and processes with exact replicas of the shells the crabs were
preferencing without luck. She put it down to the chemicals, weight and the lack of smoothness/comfort compared to mother of pearl.

So I question the success rate of the mbots

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