3D Printing & Imaging Gardening Home Science
Printable Pest Control

Kiwi programmer and farmer John Hart of Lifeboat Farm has been experimenting with using his RepRap to produce mechanical pest control devices so he can leave off the chemical pesticides. Shown above, fused-filament butterfly decoys, spotted with a marker and mounted on stalks of plastic filament in the garden:

The stalks are quite flexible so the butterflies bob about in the wind. They look pretty realistic to me, but more importantly I’ve seen white butterflies hovering around, then leaving without touching down, all this week. Time will tell if any have the courage to sneak in to lay eggs.

The model is available as Thing #6685 by Vik Olliver. John has also developed an interesting printable flytrap, though I haven’t seen the physibles for that one posted anywhere, yet. [Thanks, Tim!]


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan