Australian entrepreneur Alex Goad had a more ambitious application: 3D printing coral reefs. He formed the not-for-profit Reef Design Labs (RDL) to apply the flexibility of 3D prints to coral restoration research.
A CUSTOMIZABLE APPROACH TO REEF RESTORATION
RDL calls its patented technique for 3D-printed coral formation Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS). Instead of using steel or concrete, popular substrates for artificial reefs, RDL prints hollow blocks of ceramic, which can be molded into complex shapes, and fills them with concrete for stability.
ORAL BLEACHING THREATENS REEFS WORLDWIDE
Corals face a number of threats globally, such as white band disease, coral skeletons dissolving from ocean acidification, and coral bleaching, the last of which has especially affected the Maldives.
OPTIMISM DESPITE DIRE GLOBAL CONDITIONS
Research and creative approaches to reef restoration are a glimmer of hope in the face of global threats that have already destroyed much of the world’s coral ecosystems.