Whilst most ordinary folk are trying to figure out exactly what 3D printing is and how the hell it works. Others are already coming up with extraordinary ways to utilise this technology.
These shells are the creation of Japanese artist Aki Inomata.
With the use of a high accuracy 3-D printer, she created crystalline skylines famous places. Her first models weren't too popular with the crabs, having thought that crabs would be interested in all kinds of shapes (apparently they like plastic water bottles) she realised that the inside of the shell had to be a certain way, and so used a 3-D scan of hermit approved shells - to recreate.
You can read more about the ideas behind her project on Wired.com
I fell in love with the humble hermit crab after watching a
brilliant scene on the BBC's Blue Planet series, featuring 2 crabs
fighting each other for a better shell.