Can 3-D Printing Save Coral Reefs?

Scientists are finding new ways to engineer coral reefs to safeguard our oceans using 3-D 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 3-D 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 3-D printed coral, click here! 

Previous Post

Featured Stories

ocean-satellite-image National Aquarium, On Location: Kennedy Space Center

The National Aquarium will attend the launch of NASA’s newest satellite–and will share all the action live on social media!

Read the full story

beach-shore-dunes How to Be an Environmentally Responsible Beach Visitor

Show your appreciation for our coastal areas by being an environmentally responsible beach visitor, this Memorial Day weekend and beyond!

Read the full story

Related Stories

Pollinators: Birds, Bees and Everything in Between

Published August 19, 2017

An Underwater Odyssey

Published August 17, 2017