Less than a week until I present my current findings.

I have found that this project was extremely interesting to me at the beginning but the longer I spend on the process, the more I am losing the love I had. It was bound to happen eventually, the idea was to use the thesis as a buffer, somewhere I could go and not think about Hermit Crabs nor the process of it all but that has not seemed to work as planned.


Nevertheless, I have been progressing with the work for this project.


I have also experienced a number of issues with what I am working on, one of those being process of which I make and present my concepts. Originally, as through research, I found that the perfect way in which I could obtain the perfect scan of a natural shell would be through Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning. This was the process of Aki Inomata, previously discussed in a past blog post. Aki, like I am now finding out, experienced problems with shells being accepted by Hermit Crabs which were not scanned from existing shells.

I have found that the open source file I have been using, once 3D Printed, does not sink but floats. The problem of this was discussed at length with many peers, some suggesting it is the amount of infill being used whilst printed, other believing it could be the PLA material used to print the prototype models.

I seem to agree with these two observations, both viable and most likely the case. I do believe that there is also another issue, and that comes from the file itself, I cannot trust it completely. I was fortunate to find this file as it has really helped me in producing what I currently have, I cannot stop thinking about how much I could have developed this project further if I had access to the equipment required, that being a CT Scanner.

Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to have had communications with the dental department for testing their scanners and although unsuccessful, I find myself feeling grateful for the opportunity of testing these machines for otherwise, I would be entering my presentation saying that I had obtained this piece file of a shell from an open source website with absolutely no background check to see if the shell would be a viable candidate for the Hermit Crabs.

I have contacted a number of people who I believe could help me in my search for using a CT scanner but as of yet, no one has responded to my email.

Another positive, following a conversation with Theo, is that these models are facsimiles. It was hoped that I would be able to perfectly recreate the shell but without the equipment I am finding the process difficult.

Acquiring a scanner will be on the list for next year.


Moving on.


As we are so close to the presentation, the most important thing for me if ensuring that I meet all aspects of the criteria. We have been reassured that the presentation is extremely difficult to fail, a part of me believes it should be extremely difficult to pass, this ensures that student designers are working to push their limits.

The criteria I am working towards:

  • A presentation of your discovery process and identification of your initial problem
  • A selection of primary and secondary research
  • Your Identification of a need for a new design/gap in the market
  • Clear consideration of a revised brief
  • A demonstration of divergent thinking through explorative ideation techniques
  • The development of a range of concepts in both 2D and 3D form
  • Demonstration of a clear process of iterative design development
  • The demonstration of a clear understanding of the requirements of design for  manufacture   
  • Demonstrate a clear process of design selection and evaluation


So far, it is looking like I will present and hit many of the key pieces of criteria, I am still working on the presentation, however. Unlike many of my peers, my presentation will be on the 14th of December, meaning I will have an extra day to finalize what will be presented.

For the next few days I have decided to scrap my plan that was listed in the previous post, I have been thinking about how I should tackle this end of term presentation and currently it is being thought of as a finalization. I keep thinking that my project must be complete by the time I present, this is very much not the case, I still have until the May deadline to get this project completed in its entirety so rushing really isn’t a smart idea at this stage.

I have decided to leave one theme absent from the presentation, that being the Social shell, Currently, I cannot visualize what I want for the aesthetic of the shell so the smart idea is to add that to the ‘What is Next?’ slides within my presentation. I will be able to think about aspects of the project in more depth over the break and I will be able to juggle the project with the new one come January.

A positive that has come from the past week is the Ultimaker 3, a dual extruding 3D Printer. I heard at the beginning of September that the university had acquired and finally the machine has been set up, I currently have just the one shell being printed with the water soluble supports and it is hoped that this allows for the outcome of the shell to not be scarred by the support structures attachment.


Testing Shell Prints on the Ultimaker 3


I am hoping that the break through Christmas will allow for me to gain the love back for this project, I am hopeful of this. Otherwise, January til May could be rather painful. Nevertheless, I believe this project has a lot going for it, I was able to complete the documentation relevant for the course, I say complete, I was able to write the rough draft. I have been experimenting with sizes of shells which will be showcased in the following post as they’re still printing.

An end of term post should suffice as a way to summarize my findings and to have a conversation as to where I go from here, that being for Field and the Thesis deadline for January.

Until next time,


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