Can 3D Printing Save Coral Reefs?

Scientists are finding new ways to engineer coral reefs to safeguard our oceans using 3D printing technology!

Published November 22, 2016

Coral reefs are vital to the health our ocean environments. They protect coastlines, provide habitats for marine life and ensure life for many ocean dwelling creatures. Due to human activity, diseases and damage caused by climate change, many reefs are rapidly disappearing.caribbean-coral-reef

Fabien Cousteau, a marine scientist and conservationist, has teamed up with the Harbour Village Beach Club on the Caribbean Island of Bonaire to print and test 3D models of the endangered coral to help solve this problem.

The artificial coral is printed in the same shape, texture and even chemical makeup of natural corals. Developing the printed corals to mimic the organic coral helps coral polyps adhere to the replicas as if they are the real thing! Additionally, algae, crabs and fish species will be attracted to these artificial corals as the environment around them flourishes.

3-D-printed-coral

Photo courtesy of Reef Design Lab.

Building on the success of other coral restoration projects, it is the hope of the team to achieve an organic reef and develop a vibrant ecosystem around it.

To learn more about the 3D printed coral, click here! 

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Canuck the rehabilitated loggerhead entering the Atlantic Ocean Animal Rescue Update: June Sea Turtle Release

Four sea turtles rehabilitated at the National Aquarium were released in Ocean City, Maryland, earlier this week!

Read the full story

Duncan swimming in the Animal Care and Rescue Center Animal Care and Rescue Center: All Systems Go

The National Aquarium’s new Animal Care and Rescue Center is officially open.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Animal Update: Blacknose Shark

Published July 11, 2018

Animal Update: Smallmouth Grunts

Published March 23, 2018