I wanted to design a habitat for my crested gecko as they like to vertical space and most available habitats aren't very tall, usually square shaped. I scavenged some melamine coated(like a countertop) MDF sign holders that held a plastic sign bent into a circle.(see images). The sign holder was 3 pieces of 9 sided MDF, 2 larger pieces had a 18" diameter ring routed into them and the other piece was a bit smaller, but still 9 sided.
The 2 larger pieces were used as the top and bottom of the habitat, with the routed ring holding clear plastic sheet with a door in it. Three threaded rods support the top. And the smaller piece was duplicated and they were used as the top and bottom of the cabinet. The cabinet is made of 2x2 and 1/4" hard board.
I used a lot of scavenged and re-purposed materials, but something like this could be built from scratch.
Didn't think I would do an Instructable for this at first, but I still had taken some pictures for my own records, so there may be some gaps or some pictures taken out of order.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Most of the key parts of this were scavenged or re-purposed, so it won't be as easy to recreate, unless you have access to a ShopBot or other CNC rounting machine, but might give some inspiration for other designs.
- Nonagon(9 sided) sign holder. See Pic.
- Plastic Strips for trim, 1" x 34" I used black, about 50mil thick, with a textured leather look on it.
- 3x 3ft lengths of 1/4" standard threaded rod to support the top
- ~24" 3/4" aluminum bar
- 12x 1/4" bolts, stainless
- 6x stainless end-cap bolts
- Decorative nails, round top, stainless
- Misc screws, bolts and nuts, all stainless
- Metal Mesh, got it at a craft store, was a bit expensive for what it is though.
- Epoxy, preferably with a mixing spout
- Plastic Sheeting, small piece 20" diameter
- 125mil polystyrene, length is the circumference of the grooves, painted black.
- 20mil clear plastic sheet, for the door frame approx 12" x 12"
- 20mil clear plastic sheet for the enclosure walls, I used 25" x 48", needed 56" but I used some extra to patch the difference.
- Bulb Sockets, I used 2 ceramic ones salvaged from an old light fixture, cut off from a string of 5
- 2x salvaged AC cords, polarized, but depends on setup
- Infra-red heater bulb, such as Exo-Terra Heat Glo
- Daylight spectrum fluorescent bulb
- Wood glue
- Aquarium Sealant
- Metal Snips, Aviation or otherwise
- Drill and bits
- Table Saw
- Hack Saw
- Utility knife or sharp sturdy razor