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Charles and NiXie's Hamster House on the Moon

by leothemakerprince, published

Charles and NiXie's Hamster House on the Moon by leothemakerprince Jan 2, 2014

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Summary

From the book LEO the Maker Prince:
http://www.leothemakerprince.com
http://www.amazon.com/LEO-Maker-Prince-Journeys-Printing/dp/1457183145
This is the modular hamster house system that Charles made for his hamster, Weenie. Capsules can be rearranged and attached in different configurations, end-to-end or stacked.

PLEASE NOTE: the clear parts pictured here were created using the i.materialise service and may be impossible to replicate with a desktop 3D printer.

Instructions

This is a modular system to house a small dwarf hamster (not the large Syrian variety). Capsules can be rearranged and attached in different configurations, end-to-end or stacked. The twist ring and closed rings twist and lock at the ends of the capsule bands to hold each one together.

The main part of the model is the modular capsule. Here, two capsules are stacked and connected together, with a bend tube channel for the hamster to explore.

NOTE! VERY IMPORTANT!
This is by far the most complex of the LEO series of objects, and most of the parts you see here were created and polished by a professional 3D printing service, not an at-home printer. In particular, the clear parts such as the capsule, the water bottle and the bend tube may be impossible to recreate at home. it's a good idea to have them clear so you can see your pet!

For two capsules as pictured, here are instructions:

  1. Print the following in white:
    hamster_house_band_X4.stl (4 pieces)
    hamster_closed_twist_cap_X2.stl (2 pieces)
    hamster_twist_ring_X2.stl (2 pieces)
    hamster_press_fit_cap_X2.stl (2 pieces)

  2. Print the following in clear and polish to get them as transparent as possible:
    capsule_holes_left.stl (2 pieces)
    capsule_holes_right.stl (2 pieces)
    hamster_bend_tube_left.stl (1 piece)
    hamster_bend_tube_right.stl (1 piece)
    ladder_tube.stl (1 piece)

  3. Assemble the capsules by placing a left and right capsules together. They will be oriented with the small ventilation holes at the top. You should see a large hole at the top, and one on the bottom.

  4. Place each capsule inside a set of two bands, so the capsule edges sit inside the channels on the inside of the band. Be sure to align the large holes at the top and bottom of the capsules with the holes on the bands.

  5. Use the ladder tube as a press fit to mate the two capsule assemblies together and give the hamster a way to climb up.

  6. Place the closed end caps on one end of the capsules and press and turn to lock into place.

  7. Place the twist rings on the other end of the capsules.

  8. Put the left and right of the bend tube together and insert it into the open ends of the two stacked capsules. Twist the rings to lock the assembly in place.

  9. Use a press fit cap to plug the large hole at the bottom of the lower capsule.

  10. For the water bottle, print the hamster_water_bottle.stl file and the hamster_water_bottle_top.stl file. The top should have a pinhole in it to allow the water to drip through. The water bottle will likely need to be split and then glued together in order to clear support and have a proper hollow cavity.

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Doesn't carbon dioxide sink? This looks pretty air tight, wouldn't the bottom basically become a chamber of death unless it had a lot of ventilation holes near the lower perimeter?

Hi Peter,
Did you check out the files? There is a network of holes at the top of each of the capsule halves for ventilation. We are always looking to make these designs better, do if you have suggestions let us know.

I was looking at the picture, but I see now that there are holes in one of the halves of the design file. I guess those are just on the other side of the bottom piece, in the picture?

Yeah, when we did the photo shoot we had a mixup with the pieces and the part with the holes should have been on both sides.

What if you used gatorade or similar large-mouth bottles? With a cool end cap they might not be that recognizable.

That's a nice idea! It would be ideal to not have to cut the bottles too much. The clear filaments for home use are also becoming better (the LEO book was largely written with the idea of laying groundwork for future applications of 3D printing), but having the bootle ready to go would save lots of time. Thank you for posting!

Yes! That's a great idea, as the capsules are just about the size of a 1 liter bottle. We considered this for the LEO the Maker Prince book, but decided to develop this design from clear 3D printed parts that give a nod to what will be possible with near future technologies. It would be a useful project, however to build the capsules around plastic bottles.

The mouth on a soda bottle is too small :(

Yes, with the soda bottle we would have to actually cut the mouth off to make an opening that worked.

Also I am using a Printrbot Simple which has a 4x4x4 inch build area.

This design is made for a larger printer, I'm afraid.

How about redesigning it to use common softdrink bottles as the clear plastic parts?

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