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3D Printers and beekeeping

A 3D printer is a machine for making a physical object from a 3D computer image. The printers come in many variations, they can print a variety of materials ranging from plastics to metals. The real benefit from having a 3D printer is that if you can use simple CAD software on your computer, you can create impressive physical objects in your own home. I currently have a 3D printer that can print a variety of plastics, the printer is manufactured by Makerbot and purchased from here. The printer heats up a filament of plastic and then extrudes the filament through a small nozzle, and then places the plastic in a layer, each layer is subsequently built up on top of the previous layer, eventually building an object. The layers can be different thicknesses, typically I print in 0.2 mm layers using ABS (normally used to make lego bricks-amongst other things) or PLA (a biodegradable) plastic. makerbot replicator 2x

Well, what's this got to do with beekeeping?

As a beekeeper, there are many things that can easily be made by first designing and then printing out the object. I will cover a couple on this website, these are custom moulds and modification to a mating nuc (Apidea).

During the time I have had my printer, I have made a number of 'things', some are shown below.

variety of 3d printed objects