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Printednest Uses 3D Printing to Bring Birds Back to the City

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Printednest being made in 3D printer. Photo courtesy Printednest.

Printednest being made in 3D printer. Photo courtesy Printednest.

If you’re a bird-lover, then you’ll love Printednest. Printednest is a kind of quirky project that combines bird watching and 3D printing. The project allows individuals to make their own bird feeders with a 3D printer, which are designed to attach to outdoor structures such as windows on homes, and high rise buildings.

One of the people behind Printednest, Rahim Petruska, said that the overarching philosophy behind the idea is “to show people, how 3D printing can realize any idea, and connect different professions together.”

The standard design of the  Printednest feeder at the moment is kind of modernist—it’s an egg shaped nest with an attached set of antlers. It looks better than it sounds., and the colors are easily customizable.

If you don’t own a printer, don’t worry, Printednest will allow you  to customize and pay to have them print the nests for you, The project is totally open source, so if you have a 3D printer, you can download the source files on Thingiverse, 3dfilemarket or Shapeways and print your own. Ideally, the nests should be printed using polylactide, as PLA is biodegradable and is in concert with the project’s idea of combining the natural with modern life.

printed-nest

The reason for the color customization and modern design is part of the point of the project—the feeders are aimed at city-dwellers. The folks behind Printednest hope their project will help birds come back to cities. If you attach a  Printednest to a window, it becomes a DIY nature reality show where you get a glimpse into the world of birds: You can see them come and go and watch how they live, eat, and interact with the world around them.

Already there is a collection of numerous photos of the 3D printed feeders on Pinterest. Many are the standard Printednest designs, but others feature tweaks to the default design. Another idea that Printednest is trying to foster with this process, is interconnectedness. That’s why, the site wants those who print or purchase the bird feeders to register their nest on Printednest site. This will give users access to interact with a map which shows where other people currently have feeders. Thus far, 36 bird feeders are registered to people in 23 different cities in six countries.  The hope is for this initiative to spread across the globe, allowing the birds to live among us, and able to find food in a concrete jungle of buildings, roads, and parking lots.

Have you printed a Printednest yet?  Let us know in the Printednest forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

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