In an effort to mimic the natural feeding habits of the zoo’s inhabitants, David Orban, Cincinnati Zoo’s animal excellence manager, wanted to create a complex feeder that would extend the foraging process and increase physical and mental stimulation in a way that’s more akin to how animals source food in the wild.
Using data collected by the zoo’s researchers, engineers from GE Additive’s AddWorks consulting team began working on two designs to present. The zoo team chose a titanium 3D printed device that distributes food into animal habitats at random times. Housed inside a replica tree trunk, a central enclosure containing crickets is connected to a series of tubes that exit the device at different points, providing food to the animals at varying times depending on which tube the cricket selects.
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