Now that the multispecies research is out, I am able to release my very prototype ant introducer.
My first prototype was a taped together roll of mesh with two discs of mesh taped to the ends. It was uh... not very good and I'm thankful that I can't find my photos of it as it was embarrassing haha.
Now to get into my recent (and decent) prototypes.
My first real attempt at making a functional item went fairly well, it was meant to be reusable and easy to disassemble. Unfortunately it had several issues, the largest being that the design was going to be large, clunky, and unstable. Weight was evenly distributed which allowed the canister to roll back and forth which would undoubtedly be unpleasant for any ants inside.
While slicing the model for printing, I noticed another issue which was that the slots for the mesh were not going to print, which would have been an issue as those are the primary parts.
Luckily for me, I scrapped this design and moved on to another design.
After the issues the first design, I took a step back and went for a simple and clean method using a little bit of glue.
This model was simple, clean looking, solved the even weight distribution issue, and solved the bulky clip issue.
Printing this model was easy, it comes in three pieces which can all be printed at the same time. Print time is roughly 26 minutes at 0.15mm layer height.
As you can see, the introducer now sits upright with a stable and comfortable platform for anything you would like to put inside.
I allowed for a 0.15mm tolerance in the parts, which appears to be too much for the top post to correctly mesh with the cap. As far as I can tell this slight gap does not actually allow any ants to go through as it is extremely small.
For this prototype, I used 200 mesh which has an opening of roughly 0.075mm. As you can see below, this means that no ants come anywhere close to being able to slip through this. For larger species I may want to attempt using a slightly larger mesh, maybe something more like 70 or 120 mesh as that would allow for more protected interactions between workers.
Edited by Otter, January 11 2021 - 12:41 PM.