PSA: Using 3D printed materials in enclosures

EulersK

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Feb 22, 2013
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Brand, model used: Makerbot Replicator
Filament used: Makerbot's blue, orange, and white plastic filament
Test subjects: Crickets, local wolf spider, black widow, and dubia roaches

I've wanted to buy a 3D printer for ages now, and lately they have gotten a lot cheaper. Well, I went ahead and ran a simple experiment. I printed a simple sheet of plastic at work, let it air out for a few days, and then placed it in an enclosure with my cricket test. All crickets were dead by morning. I repeated the same thing with a local wolf spider, and it is currently curled (although alive). The black widow died within a week, and even the dubia roaches died after about two weeks.

I really wanted a 3D printer to make hides and backdrops and whatnot, but that's clearly not an option. Something about this filament is toxic to seemingly all arthropods, so it should be avoided at all costs. It could very well be this specific brand of filament, but I won't be trying anything again in the future.
 

LuiziBee

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Apr 19, 2012
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Oh my! At least you ran tests first. That's rough. Jeeeezus.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Christ, beware of Zombie inverts revenge my man for that you, pure finest 2016 Cornelio Agrippa mixed with Steampunk prize winner, went a bit too far and obtained a sort of 'Resident Evil Hive' effect :-s
 

EulersK

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Christ, beware of Zombie inverts revenge my man for that you, pure finest 2016 Cornelio Agrippa mixed with Steampunk prize winner, went a bit too far and obtained a sort of 'Resident Evil Hive' effect :-s
I'm really hoping that the tarantulas will sprout knife-tentacles.
 

chanda

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Wow - good to know! Glad you ran the tests first and didn't just throw some cool 3D-printed accessory in with one of your Ts!
 

Trenor

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Jan 28, 2016
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Brand, model used: Makerbot Replicator
Filament used: Makerbot's blue, orange, and white plastic filament
Test subjects: Crickets, local wolf spider, black widow, and dubia roaches

I've wanted to buy a 3D printer for ages now, and lately they have gotten a lot cheaper. Well, I went ahead and ran a simple experiment. I printed a simple sheet of plastic at work, let it air out for a few days, and then placed it in an enclosure with my cricket test. All crickets were dead by morning. I repeated the same thing with a local wolf spider, and it is currently curled (although alive). The black widow died within a week, and even the dubia roaches died after about two weeks.

I really wanted a 3D printer to make hides and backdrops and whatnot, but that's clearly not an option. Something about this filament is toxic to seemingly all arthropods, so it should be avoided at all costs. It could very well be this specific brand of filament, but I won't be trying anything again in the future.
Was the makerbot filament you were using PLA or ABS? That seems to be all they are selling on their website. Not all plastics are not considered food safe so I'm not surprised that they killed the insects.

I've not tried it but I a friend that helps out at a maker space said that any 3D printer that can run ABS can also run PETG which is USDA certified for food use. They have one 3D printer that they only allow PETG to be ran on for this reason. You may also want to check that none of the nozzle pieces contains lead as they found a few printer nozzles that had lead mixed with the brass part of the nozzle.

PET filament could also work as it is considered FDA food safe as well.
 

EulersK

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Feb 22, 2013
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Was the makerbot filament you were using PLA or ABS? That seems to be all they are selling on their website. Not all plastics are not considered food safe so I'm not surprised that they killed the insects.

I've not tried it but I a friend that helps out at a maker space said that any 3D printer that can run ABS can also run PETG which is USDA certified for food use. They have one 3D printer that they only allow PETG to be ran on for this reason. You may also want to check that none of the nozzle pieces contains lead as they found a few printer nozzles that had lead mixed with the brass part of the nozzle.

PET filament could also work as it is considered FDA food safe as well.
I honestly have no idea, and I have no packaging to check. What I have at work is a floor model for customers to use, and the filament comes in unmarked boxes.
 

EulersK

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We have WAY too many stickies already :rofl: I actually think we're due for a purge. Some of the stickies aren't even relevant anymore.
 

viper69

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Dec 8, 2006
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Brand, model used: Makerbot Replicator
Filament used: Makerbot's blue, orange, and white plastic filament
Test subjects: Crickets, local wolf spider, black widow, and dubia roaches

I've wanted to buy a 3D printer for ages now, and lately they have gotten a lot cheaper. Well, I went ahead and ran a simple experiment. I printed a simple sheet of plastic at work, let it air out for a few days, and then placed it in an enclosure with my cricket test. All crickets were dead by morning. I repeated the same thing with a local wolf spider, and it is currently curled (although alive). The black widow died within a week, and even the dubia roaches died after about two weeks.

I really wanted a 3D printer to make hides and backdrops and whatnot, but that's clearly not an option. Something about this filament is toxic to seemingly all arthropods, so it should be avoided at all costs. It could very well be this specific brand of filament, but I won't be trying anything again in the future.
There's a guy on Dendroboard he made a feeding bowl for his poison dart frogs. The insects remain alive of course. I'll see if he answers my PM on the material used.
 

viper69

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@EulersK

My friend here's what I learned from the DB frogger

"I only use HIPS... I've been using various 3D printed stuff in my vivs for about 2 years now and haven't lost any frogs."


I expect a 3D design of my choice to be printed by you for free as a kind gesture for providing such valuable and T LIFE SAVING info in such a prompt and professional fashion ;)
 

EulersK

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Feb 22, 2013
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@EulersK

My friend here's what I learned from the DB frogger

"I only use HIPS... I've been using various 3D printed stuff in my vivs for about 2 years now and haven't lost any frogs."


I expect a 3D design of my choice to be printed by you for free as a kind gesture for providing such valuable and T LIFE SAVING info in such a prompt and professional fashion ;)
Very good to know! Thanks for that info. A 3D printer is definitely on my wishlist - not primarily for tarantulas, but you better believe I'll be using it for them... although I'll likely try it on a few B. albo slings before the pricier specimens.
 
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