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Posted on Feb 24th, 2012

In my quest to digitize my geckos rather than make 3d models of them scratch I began to experiment with different software and image capture set ups to get better models than my proof of concept provided.  I created a known size box, as was suggested to me online, moved the apparatus to a bathroom, put tape on the walls, and improved the lighting on the gecko subjects. I also build a sort of parallel bars for geckos out of bbq spears and rubberbands for them to sit on. This all has resulted in both hilarious poses of the geckos... more

Posted on Feb 22nd, 2012

I did a proof of concept test for the 3d scanning portion of Gecko Condo's last cosmetic step tonight and figured I would share the results.

The ultimate goal here is to create plastic gargoyles of gecko heads that will serve as bolt covers for all of the exposed hardware in gecko condo. Rather than draw all the heads from scratch, it would be much easier to capture a 3d scan of some of the geckos and use those wireframes to make 3d models that a 3d printer can use. I purchased a Printerbot+ through the Printrbot kickstarter campaign... more

Posted on Feb 19th, 2012

In order to keep a vivarium clean and healthy a lot of people add microfauna to create a cycle. Microfauna are secondary animals, usually insects, that are added to vivarium primarily to serve as janitors. They tend to be quite small. The herp defecates, microfauna eat it and turn it into fertilizer for the plants, plants eat what the microfauna produce and stay healthy which in turn helps keep the humidity up for everyone. If you are working with very small herps the microfauna may even be able to serve as a supplementary food source for them or their offspring. This might sound like a... more

Posted on Feb 16th, 2012

Gecko condo is planted! I need to cut some more cork pieces, and it needs to sit for a month so the plants can establish themselves before the geckos re-enact Animal House and tear the whole place up when I add them, but otherwise there is only step remaining and it is purely cosmetic:

1. Build supports and bottom cabinet (completed except some paint) 2. Build the 3 tanks that make up the condo 3. Line up and drill the holes for securing the tanks to the supports. 4. Build the skirts for between levels. 5. Build naturalistic backgrounds and substrate using Great Stuff foam and... more

Posted on Feb 6th, 2012

Over the weekend I made 10 naturalistic backgrounds for gecko condo. I do not know of anyone else who made their backgrounds on removable pieces of plastic like I have, but Gecko Condo is all about options and I want to be able to change things around as I need to over the years. Most people just make their backgrounds directly into their tanks, which is fine, but not what I wanted for this.

My main tools/consumables for this portion are:

- GE Silicone II brown caulk - Great Stuff door and window insulating foam - Virgin cork - Coir (eco-earth, shredded coconut... more

Posted on Feb 4th, 2012

The plastic for the naturalistic backgrounds was ready yesterday and it has been picked up. I also recently placed the order for the misting system from mistking.com. I spoke with the owner, Marty, who is well known in the poison dart frog community about the setup. It turned out to be a little more complicated than I thought but not by much. He also suggested adding a drain to each of the 3 sections which I felt was a good idea, so I will pick up a 1.5" hole saw and add those.

Here is a simple diagram of how the misting system will most likely be set up. I am waiting from a... more

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