Crustacean Fashion Designer Leverages 3D Printing Technology

Japanese artist , Aki Inomata, makes shells for hermit crabs. How?  She CT scans a shell, adds cityscapes or buildings, then 3D prints the SHELL-ters. Once complete she places the new shell near a hermit crab feeling the pinch in its current dwelling.  Once the crab inspects and finds it satisfactory, it only takes a few minutes to take up new residence.

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Her source of inspiration in her own words…

My idea for this piece came about when I participated in the “No Man’s Land” exhibition that was held at the French Embassy in Japan in 2009. This work was inspired by the fact that the land of the former French Embassy in Japan had been French until October 2009, and then became Japanese for the following fifty years, after which it will be returned to France. I was surprised to hear this story, and associated this image with the way that hermit crabs exchange shelters. A piece of land is peacefully exchanged between two countries.


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