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Design a 3D-printable mousetrap

3D Printing & Imaging
Design a 3D-printable mousetrap


Cathal Garvey’s proposing a mousetrap design challenge:

I have a problem. There lives in my house a tiny mouse, and as I am friend to all animals I wish him no harm.

The live mousetrap I tried didn’t work: crafty mouse escaped it repeatedly. I also invented a few wacky methods involving pitfalls, narrow bottles full of bloating foods and even tried to suck him out onto a vacuum cleaner head covered with cheesecloth. No avail!

I am offering a bounty for something:

$25 to the first design that catches the mouse. It must:

– Not harm the mouse

– Be printable on a MakerBot

– Work

Mouse get!

MakerBot’s throwing in a free t-shirt if that winning design also appears on Thingiverse under an open license!


From MAKE magazine:

make volume 21 little cover.jpg

MAKE Volume 21 is the Desktop Manufacturing issue, with how-to articles on making three-dimensional parts using inexpensive computer-controlled manufacturing equipment. Both additive (RepRap, CandyFab) and subtractive (Lumenlab Micro CNC) systems are covered. Also in this issue: instructions for making a cigar box guitar, building your own CNC for under $800, running a mini electric bike with a cordless drill, making a magic photo cube, and tons more. If you’re a subscriber, you may have your issue in hand already, and can access the Digital Edition. Otherwise, you can pick up MAKE 21 in the Maker Shed or look for it on newsstands near you!

10 thoughts on “Design a 3D-printable mousetrap

  1. Chuck says:

    Get bucket.
    Put peanut butter on inside rim of bucket.
    Make ramp up to bucket.

    Mouse falls in, can’t get out. Done.

    The ol’ farmer version puts water in the bucket so the mouse drowns but in my experience to mouse can’t jump out anyways.

  2. Alan says:

    For everyone’s sake, including the mouse’s, just get a killing trap from the hardware store and be done with it. I highly recommend the D-Con Ultra-Set covered traps, which are efficient, sanitary, and humane. If you catch the mouse alive and try to dispose of it without killing it, at least one of these things will probably happen:

    1. You’ll catch a nasty disease. Wild mice are chock full of microbes that can hurt you and your family. Google “hantavirus” or “lyme life cycle” for some perspective on this, and those are just two examples off the top of my head. Handling live wild mice is a horrible idea for this reason alone.

    2. The mouse will come right back. You’ll carry it away from your house, drop it in some woodsy area, and go home. The next morning, you’ll wonder why you’re still finding mouse droppings. It’s because the house mouse lives in houses, and will return to yours as soon as it can.

    3. The mouse will die a cruel death. Either your “no-kill” trap will actually kill it in some unexpected way, or it will get killed very inhumanely after you release it. Ever seen a cat kill a mouse? It’s much, much worse than a quick snap of the neck from a trap.

    Wild mice live nasty, brutish, short lives. Trying to prolong or improve those lives is futile and unhealthy.

  3. screaminscott says:

    I always thought this was a cool design.

    But then again, it is patented.

  4. metis says:

    i’ve gotta agree with alan, you’re actually being INhumane to just bring it outdoors where it has no nest or known food sources. you need to get the little buggers something like half a mile away to release them so they won’t rejoin your household, but if someone else’s house is near, they’ll take up residence there, so now you’ve stressed the mouse, and some other family that’ll prolly just use a snap trap.

    that said, i’ll see what i can whip up tomorrow.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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