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How to expand OpenFormicaria

There are several processes and standards within this project, so let's have a look at them.

Generally, I recommend using a existing CAD instance as reference and work with CV2 connector style.

You can find the repository here: Github

Fork it and add your changes.

How to PR/MR on Github

When you have a creation you want to have added, make sure it is in the correct folder (STL exports, CAD files etc.). Add the documentation of your part in to docs folder as well.

Please create PRs into the devel branch!

Base structural blocks for any modules

A base block has the size of 35mmx35mmx20mm. The 4xGateway has essentially those measurments. This square is essentially the base block size for connenctor facing faces.

You can see this with the the 6xGateway. On a side, they have two connector placements, this side has to be 70mm wide to fit both of them. A face that does not intend to have connectors, you are free to move out of this size. The example here would be the Portal. The face with the feeder holes is a bit outside of this box.

Some other specs to modules

  • The glass cut out is 3mm deep
  • The m3 screw holes have a radius of 1.4mm
  • The ant "cutout" is recommended to be around 15mm deep. This leads to have a 2mm floor with 20mm total height.
  • To hold the glass I've used a 1mm wide ledge sofar


Please have a look at the folder Measurements with all the detailing measurements on how the connector looks like.

A connector is set up with the following parts:

  • Female Connector is on all Modules. Be aware in the difference of CV1 and CV2. Have a look at the image Connector Cut Measurements.
  • The hole cut through has a radius of 5mm and is centered.
  • CV2 Female has a Hill that is in the center. Check ConnectorV2_Hill for it's specs
  • Male connectors are standalone and are used in between to connect all modules. The CV2 version as a grove and a rail so that the Hill can slide and lock.
  • Check out the images ConnectorV2_Rail and "ConnectorV2_Groove for the specs


The formicaria are created in two steps:

1) A template is created and maintained for each size. This template is empty and does not have any ant digging site, just free space. This gets exported as STL.

2) In Photoshop or any editor of your preference a black/white plan of the ant pathways is drawn. This then get imported in 3D Builder and placed into the template, combining the two.

This approach allows to create many different inserts for the formicaria for different ant species. You can of course further customize the templates if you wish.

Have a look at Formicaria/Inserts/ to find PSD templates and already generated ant styles.

Helping in other ways

If you like the design and all the work that already went in, you could consider sponsoring a tea/coffe at Buymeacoffee as a motivator!