AMS Spring 2023

This 3D Printed Birdhouse Changes Colors When It Is Occupied

Inkbit

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birdhouse2One of my favorite types of stories to cover surrounding the 3D printing space is those that show how animals are benefiting from this up-and-coming technology. We’ve covered many stories where dogs, turtles, ducks, and cats have all received prosthetic body parts. Whether it is prosthetic legs for a dog with only two legs, a beak for an eagle that was hurt by humans, or a foot for a hobbled turtle, I love hearing about these types of stories.

One man, whom we have written about in the past, named Reginald Taylor, is very talented when it comes to 3D modeling objects to be 3D printed. Taylor, a 46-year-old man living in France, works at home so that he can take care of his 18-year-old daughter who is disabled due to an accident that she was involved in.

“I purchased my first 3D printer about 18 months ago after seeing a potential opening in my area of expertise,” Taylor tells 3DPrint.com. “I travel quite a lot and do much of my design work for MyMiniFactory whilst on the move — better than watching films on the airbook whilst on the TGV.”

One of Taylor’s recent designs is for a Wildlife Birdhouse, which he designed from the ground up. It is able to be 3D printed in approximately 7 hours on most FFF-based 3D printers, and the design is rather aesthetically pleasing.

The birdhouse comes equipped with an optional seed holder that fits right on top of the house. It is the perfect size to allow small birds to enter, build a nest, and perhaps even lay some eggs inside. Where this birdhouse gets interesting, though, is that if printed using thermostatic filament like Taylor recommends, it will actually let you know when a bird is occupying the house.

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“The birdhouse prints as a single piece with no support, I have printed it using thermo sensitive filament that changes color at body temperature so any bird nesting should produce enough heat to change the color of the filament,” Taylor tells us. “Great for kids or school nature classes.”

birdhouse3With the increasing availability of various specialty filaments on the market today, it isn’t hard to find thermo-sensitive filament like what Taylor refers to. So, no more wondering if there are birds in your birdhouse, just look to see if the filament has changed colors.

The birdhouse is free to download and print, and Taylor recommends printing it with a 0.25mm layer height and 50% infill. All in all, the final print will use about 72 grams of filament.

What do you think about Taylor’s 3D printed color changing birdhouse? Have you 3D printed one? Discuss in the 3D Printed Birdhouse forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

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