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Depict Famous Landmarks on 3D Printed Hermit Crab Shells

NY hermit crab

Image credit: Aki Inomata

3D printing technology becomes popular recently and it is completely amazing. This technology can be applied in creating prosthetic limbs for people and ducks, tools for the International Space Station, potential concrete infrastructure on Mars, replacement skulls, replacement blood vessels, bones for facial reconstruction, and much, much more.

The abovementioned uses are noble and worthwhile, however, 3D printing technology can also be used to create things that are just fun and awesome, for instance, making decked out shells for hermit crabs, the most adorable of crustaceans. Hermit crabs have soft and vulnerable bodies. Instead of making their own home for protection, they will forage for shelters left by other species of animals, and switch from one home to another quite often. If shells are not available for them, they will lug around bits of wood or even plastic bottle caps for protection.

A Japanese artist, Aki Inomata, has created a collection of 3D printed shells out of clear plastic in her project “Why Not Hand Over a “shelter” to Hermit crabs?” Although clear hermit crab shells have been made before, she has given a new twist in this project by putting world-famous architecture from around the globe on the top of each hermit crab shell. She notes that the idea comes from a piece of land that had held the French Embassy in Japan. The ownership of the land, as she says, was transferred back and forth peacefully between Japan and France without causing a fuss. People often move from one country to another, and even hermit crabs are able to transfer shelters seamlessly.

Please check out her project:

Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs? digest ver. from Aki Inomata on Vimeo.

Here are the other skylines in her collection:

Renaissance architecture in Honfleur, France:

Renaissance architecture in Honfleur, France

Earthen hillside buildings in the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco:
Earthen hillside buildings in the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco

Skyscrapers of New York City, USA:

Skyscrapers of New York City, USA

Cubical homes on the sides of the Cyclades in Santorini, Greece:
Cubical homes on the sides of the Cyclades in Santorini, Greece

Buddhist temple in Thailand:

Buddhist temple in Thailand

Windmills of Zaanse Schans, Netherlands:

Windmills of Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

All images are the property of Aki Inomata. Go to www.aki-inomata.com to see more of her amazing 3D printed artwork.