3d Printed Coral Reefs Could Help Safeguard Marine Biodiversity

Researchers are working on developing a method to 3D print coral reefs

Thanks to a team of artificial reef designers working with Reef Arabia and specialists with DShape, aquatic creatures might soon no longer have to worry about ever finding themselves without a roof over their heads. Tree Hugger tells us that these good folks have for some time been working together to figure out a way to create life-like 3D printed artificial coral reefs that can be sunk to bottom of seas and oceans, and provide suitable habitats for several marine species. The same source details that the specialists plan to create these coral reefs using a non-toxic patented sandstone material. Sandstone, unlike concrete, is closer to a natural earth rock and has a neutral pH surface which makes it more attractive to coral larvae looking for a home, David Lennon with Reef Arabia explains. With 3D printing we can get closer to natural design because of its ability to produce very organic shapes and almost lay down material similar to how nature does it, the conservationist adds. Presently, designing an artificial coral reef takes about four days. Printing it, on the other hand, is done in just 24 hours. Should this technology move past its testing phase and start being used on a fairly wide scale, there is little doubt that marine biodiversity would have a lot to gain. More so given the fact that, according to several reports, the coral reefs that our planet came equipped with are being destroyed by pollution and ocean acidification. FILED UNDER:

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