Insect eye

A 3D printed insect eye made for moth day

Every year, my PhD lab organizes moth day as a way to spread awareness about how cool moths are and what all we study in them. This is one of our means of outreach.

In 2017, I 3D printed an approximate version of an insect eye to show off how cool insect eyes are. The model by itself is very simple - in a sense it is simply “hexagonal cones” tiled across in 3D. It is by no means equivalent to a real insect eye and the packing is just approximate and not optimal. Yet, it was interesting to see that this simple 3D model illustrated how only a small set of ommatidia can look at a particular portion of the visual world. It could also show the pseudopupil effect seen when light is shone on the eyes of many insects :nerd_face:

Below are some images and screenshots. Here is the code for it. Let me know if you decide to print it! :smile:

Front (left), side (middle) and back (right) view of the CAD model of insect eye. The pseudopupil equivalent is visible in the front (left) and the back (right) view.
Front and an oblique view of the 3D printed insect eye insect eye. The pseudopupil equivalent is visible here too.