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The past few days have been rather interesting for this project. Todd and I were able to spend some time with a Cardiff Met alumni, Adam Davies.

We were able to chat about speculative ideas, future possibilities of our two projects and the positives and negatives of our ideas.  Unfortunately, I am still feeling nervous about explaining what on earth I am trying to do. Luckily, Adam responded really well to the idea, he gave me a few ideas for where to go with the project, some I had not thought about which is always great. Adam also offered some help with the project, material research for finding the correct materials for what I wish to achieve.

Thanks for that, Adam.

Over the last week or so I have been in contact with Jeffrey Lewis, a Principal Lecturer: CPD & DL Coordinator at Cardiff Metropolitan University. It was through the help from Sarah (Thesis Tutor) that I was able to speak to him about possibly using one of their 3D Scanners they normally use for teeth but for existing shells, this to ensure I have the perfect natural ergonomics for the Hermit Crab use. Jeff was fully on board with the idea, he seemed to react positively to me explaining my idea, this giving me confidence that what I am hoping to do is actually interesting.

Jeff also recommended I look into the machinery that is used by the dental department, this being so I can fully understand the scanning process. Products that the dental technology department use and have involvements with:

Renishaw  as shown below, this is the scanner that I was shown on the 7th of November.

Renishaw DS30 - Dental Scanner
The Scanner I will be using for the shells.


3Shape, as shown below.

Technology banner
The 3Shape Scanner


I have also been in contact with the FabLab about using one of their 3D Scanners to capture the ergonomics of the shells. Unfortunately the shells that I had ordered have not arrived yet, meaning I am currently stuck in traffic with scanning and beginning the CAD work for generating concepts.


>>>One Day Later<<<


I feel as though this project is gaining a lot of traction. Currently I have yet to actually make anything, with around four weeks, thirty four days till the formative assessment I am yet to feel anxious or stressed about there being little to no physical work to display. Speaking with Theo on the 8th I asked him whether a final-final product is needed to display, my thinking being that I would like it if I did not have to rush the making stage of this project as I feel like the aesthetic of my project is very important.

From what I could take from his response, for the formative presentation just bring along everything you have currently done, the closer you are to finishing the project by the 13th of December, the less you will have to do and rush for the summative assessment in May.

Fresh ideas that came from the meeting on the 8th:

The question Theo asked: How would the shells make their way to the sea?

He recommended I take a look at the current colour coding of bins within societies, an acceptable answer to the question would be that we have an additional bin just for biodegradable materials and shells that can be thrown in the sea.

recycling labels
Colour Coded Bins = Possibilities.


Material wise, I have been looking at general plastics whilst keeping in mind the manufacturing process. An interesting discussion coming from the conversation between Theo and Todd, manufacturing seems to hint at the idea that there is a factory involved, that being a very traditional and old means of production. This could be something I look into for the shell production as the easiest way I can currently see the production being is through 3D Printing of the shells and coating the PET or PLA in PTFE which has a high chemical resistance and can be made into a spray form, this linking back to the Naticidae (Moonsnail) acid secretion.

For the food packaging, thanks to Rhodri I was introduced to packaging made from milk protein.

‘The protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage.’

‘Current food packaging which is mostly petroleum based, this is not sustainable.’

These casein-based films are up to 500 times better than plastics at keeping oxygen away from food and, because they are derived from milk, are biodegradable, sustainable and edible.’

‘Some commercially available edible packaging varieties are already on the market, but these are made of starch, which is more porous and allows oxygen to seep through its microholes. The milk-based packaging, however, has smaller pores and can thus create a tighter network that keeps oxygen out.’

Source: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2016/august/edible-food-packaging-made-from-milk-proteins-video.html

From reading more into this milk based protein, I believe I have found the material that can accompany the shell, I will have to research more into the types of products that are compatible with the material, this because when the protein material comes into contact with water it disolves, meaning if I use this material I will have to protect the material using cardboard or another material.

Because single-serve pouches would need to stay sanitary, they would have to be encased in a larger plastic or cardboard container for sale on store shelves to prevent them from getting wet or dirty.’



On the agenda for next week is for the shells to arrive, take photographs of the shells, cut them in half and then begin scanning. Following on from that I shall be spending a lot of time in CAD software designing from the sketches I already have. I am hoping that for the 6th of December Viva 3.0 I shall have some shell designs in different sizes, pouches and a rough model to demonstrate the concept.

If all goes to plan that is.



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