My friend @whangster79 got himself a new tool recently, a 3D printer. He was wondering if I was in need of anything made by one. So I went searching on 3D object websites and came across some designs when I searched for "Mason Bee". Someone designed boxes to place the cocoons in for when its time for them to emerge. They will crawl out of the doors and start the cycle of a solitary bee.
It all started on Discord, I sent him a link to the object that I was curious about. On the website you can download the .STL file for which the printer uses to make the object.
The 3D object was imported into his software he uses to make objects with his printer. Print time was a little over six hours.
The machine gets to work overnight, extruding resin layer by layer it builds the object over time.
Hours later the form that has been printed can be recognized as what was seen in the .STL file.
Once done a closer look at it inside, the cocoons are placed in the large chamber and the lid is placed on. When out in the sun the chamber gets warm and triggers the solitary Bees to emerge through the two doors.
Loving the debossed design included in the 3D object, gives the boxes a nice touch of style.
Its small enough to be held in one hand, maybe bigger ones can be made in the future. But these should be great for testing in about a month when its time for the Mason Bees to emerge.
He noticed the lids do not fit on very well, so he imported the .STL file into a Solid app and reworked the design to get a better fit.
Once brought into the application changes can be made to the design. NX by Siemens was used in this case for modification of the 3D object.
The Mason Bee incubation box is about the size of a Raspberry Pi. I really like how the design came out, hope it works well for the Bees.
Over a week he made me four of these boxes! I am very thankful him making me so many. Ill return the favor to him.
Not sure how many cocoons to place in each box. I could probably fit at least thirty a box but that may be too dense with cocoons. Ill try out different amounts and see if any fail to emerge from one that may be too densely packed. And for next year ill have a much better idea of the cocoon density.
Many thanks to @whangster79 for the machine time building me these boxes. And for making improvements on the lid to have a better fit.
I have included him a 50% beneficiary for the rewards on this post. These are all photos taken by him that I am sharing with the community. I will take some macro photos of these boxes soon and post them as well for a much closer look at the final designs.
Addresses below to help me buy better camera equipment and support me to travel to locations to do photo and video and overall great blogs in new places. I would be happy to list some of the contributors in my posts for donations that help me along the way.