Project:Fish Cages

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Floating Fish Rearing Cages

Status: working, now making more
Release Date: January 2019
Initiator: Lukas
Materials Used: acrylic glass tube, PLA, XPS, plastic mesh ("VS-Monodur PA 250 N)
Tools Used: bandsaw, 3D printers, laser cutter
Software Used: Tinkercad, Slic3r, Inkscape, Visicut
Approx. Cost: approx. 3 € apiece

mostly notes for in progress

When rearing fish larvae in a regular aquarium, many factors reduce their growth and, ultimately, survival. In addition, it's hard to monitor the larvae when they can spread out and hide, but I wanted to be able to inspect them under a microscope during the first two weeks while still having them in beneficial flow-through conditions with well aerated water.

Commercial rearing cages do exist but are quite expensive (I need 10-20!) and have the wrong dimensions for my use case in the laboratory.

Acrylic Glass Tube


3D Printing

  • snap-fit ring to hold the mesh
  • low-poly circle in Tinkercad may actually be beneficial for this purpose - bit more room for error?
  • designed to be about right (ID = tube OD + 1 mm), but final fitting had to be tried with small adjustments in Slic3r (P4/P5: 100.4 % scale)
  • 20 % infill, 0.3 mm layers

Failed Design

I also made a "mesh wall" prototype but quickly discarded this approach because it required silicone caulk for assembly. Therefore, it was messy to assemble and basically non-recoverable (i.e. properly cleanable/repairable) without any noticeable benefits.