Formicarium (Ant Nest) V2.0

by toxiccrack Feb 23, 2017
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Very cool design, i might have missed it but how to veed

Very good job, Do you think to create the same but into an XXL Version.

I mean, this ant nest it's good for little ants or when you are starting but for ant like messor barbarus it's too little.

Anyway, Well done !!!

Hi, there are no plans to do an XXL Version of this at the moment. My colony is pretty small. As soon as they grow larger, i would print this nest one more time and connect the two together.


I get you, but imagine just the same but in a double proportion, could be just perfect for a huge colony.

What is the size of your colony?

Looking forward to get a reply!



I have about 20-25 ants.
How about scale it to double size, make slices with i.e. meshlab, print the slices and glue them together?

what size tubing did you use for the entrances

These are for tubes with an inner / outer diameter of 12/16mm (as written in the description)

sorry i must have missed that

I might still need stainless steel mesh for this if I want to put smaller species like pheidole for example.
for the record what mesh type did you use for the previous version of the nest?

Edit: found it on previous versions comments, "0.25mm - 10cm x 100cm"

On my print, the holes where very, very small (as in the pictures). So i didn't need an extra steel mesh, that was the whole point in designing an printable mesh ;)

I have a pavement ant (tetramorium sp. e) colony and some of the ants can definitely squeeze through the holes.

Great design!! Can we get the raw file for editing the chamber?

Sorry, i don't have the raw file anymore. But you can use the chamber stl, delete all inner walls in your favourite 3D program and build it new from scratch

yeah that would be great wouldn't it
hope they reply soon...

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Very impressive nest.
But is it suitable for moisture loving ant like myrmica?

I'm more of a beginner, but myrmica has a very different nest type. theirs is more open and rounded, so even though you could probably get th e nest to the right moisture level, the shape wouldn't really be suitable anyways :)

Sorry mate, i'm not that an ant pro to answer that question.. i have only 1 ant colony of Camponotus herculeanus and they seem to like it.

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What nozzle size did you use to get the grid in the chamber to work? I'm using a 0.4mm nozzle and all I can get is a grid of unconnected dots from the slicer (Simplify3D). Is there some other setting I need to be aware of to make this work?

I was getting the same thing using Simplify3D (series of unconnected Squiggles). I think with Simplify3D the retraction is faster then the nozzle movement so the corners are not completed. I retied the same model with Cura and the grid came out fine. For the Chamber I would try reducing the retraction speed or just use Cura for that part. Good Luck

yeah I was actually going to say it would probably work in cura, good to know the work around works, thanks.

I use a 0.4mm too. I sliced it with repetier host / cura.

Very new to ant keeping, What material should this be printed with? I would hate to get it all set up and find out I used a material that was toxic to the ants. Thanks :)
(sorry If I missed it in the description somewhere)

yeah PLA is non toxic and food safe and so is Petg

Hi, i printed it with PLA.
I kept ants 1 year in Version 1.0 in there with no problems. Now my ants are in Version 2.1, also printed with PLA :)

Easy enough! thanks for the quick reply. I wondered because I was looking at some of ants canada's formicariums for sale and on a closeup I thought it looked 3d printed, but someone in another forum asked if they could be 3d printed and everyone told him that the plastic was too toxic, but I knew there HAD to be something safe. Glad to hear it is as easy as PLA haha.

just curious but are you able to link the discussion, I'm really interested in reading the replies.

Hi, may I know the size of the clear acrylic to be cut?

you didn't happen to get the measurements for that acrylic sheet did yah? I won't spend Plastic on this until I know I can easily get the appropriate cut and thickness.

The acrylic sheet should be the same size as the lid. So it should be 90x114x2mm

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After you've printed the chamber, you can measure how big the acrylic should be.

How are you printing the entrance? I assume it requires supports any way I try and print it?

Yes, the entrance requires supports. Just print it like it is in the stl file and add supports.

So, as much as I'd love to print this, ufortunately, it seems that some slicers don't correctly interpret the model. If you slice this using ReplicatorG, it prints the squares comprising the bottom surface on the resivoir, but nothing more, resulting in a non-solid bottom. I doubt this is a design flaw, but would you have any suggestions for fixing this?

Sorry for the late reply. I use Repetier / Cura to slice it with no problems

Great thing. Any photos of it with Ants ?

No sorry. The ant season is starting next month ;)