Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On May 28th 2020, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden of Ohio announced that a collaboration with GE Additive had resulted in a specially designed 3D printed animal feeder, which the zoo argued would enable the animals to feed more like they would in the wild. (GE Additive is a subsidiary of multinational conglomerate General Electric of Boston, Massachusetts.) The zoo’s so-called “animal excellence manager” David Orban claims that often when live insects are fed to some of its birds and/or small mammals, the animals consume them within 5-10 minutes. He argues that using a more complex feeder would lead the animals to forage for longer, leading them to behave more naturally.

Inside the feeder, there is a central enclosure to transfer live crickets into, which is connected to several tubes of varying length that exit the feeder at different points on its exterior; this has a bark-like texture and is designed to imitate a tree trunk. How long it takes a cricket to exit the feeder depends on which tube they walk down, ergo the feeder supplies crickets to the animal habitat at varying times.

GE Additive hopes to deliver several more 3D printed feeders to the zoo, including one designed to educate visitors about animal enrichment and 3D printing. This is intended to have part of its exterior be removable to enable people to see the interior arrangement of tubes.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “De menagerie, Melchior d’ Hondecoeter, ca. 1690 – Rijksmuseum” is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.