ArchREEF’s 3D printed tiles help revive the Hong Kong Coral reefs.

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3D printed tiles helping revive the Hong Kong Coral reefs.

Environmental degradation has resulted in a large loss of land and sea habits. Earth’s coral reefs have been steadily diminishing as a result of human activity, and this might bring the planet’s biodiversity to a standstill if preventative steps are not done.
Hong Kong is known as one of the world’s concrete jungles, but few people realize it is also one of the world’s most biodiverse cities, with more hard coral species than the Caribbean.

However, ArchiREEF’s work may be able to assist corals in becoming stronger and restoring ocean life.
The solution: 3D printed terracotta tiles that aid in the growth and restoration of corals.
David Baker, a professor of marine biology, and Vriko Yu, a PhD student, co-founded the company in 2020.

ArchREEF aims at making corals more resilient to climate change.

A Mission For Earth’s survival


The duo has embarked on a mission to restore marine life in the coral reefs near hong kong.
And through their 3D printed terracotta tiles,

In contrast to traditional concrete methods of coral preservation, the team was able to repopulate times the amount of coral.
With rising climate change and urban expansion, as well as their negative effects on coral biodiversity, we may rest a little easier knowing that ArchREEF is using additive manufacturing to help combat this worldwide catastrophe.
While submerged concrete buildings frequently take the role of coral as a marine life habitat,

ArchREEF wants to provide a foundation for the coral itself to grow on.
With time the coral will be strong enough to support itself without the tile,

which will eventually either be shattered or erode naturally.
With archiREEFS terracotta tiles,

Coral reefs that have entirely disappeared can be restored, which can deal with the growing concern of disappearing coral reefs.

Scientists predict with growing ocean temperature and increasingly acidic sea levels that about 90% of earth’s coral reefs might be eradicated over the next twenty years,

which is concerning for humans as we depend on invertebrates called coral polyps for food and medicine, in addition to protecting coastlines from storm erosion.

Innovation

While using 3d printing to create underwater is not a new thing, companies using this technology include Australia’s Reef design lab and D-Shape.
However ArchREEF’s use of clay, non-toxic natural material is nothing short of innovative.
Pui Yi Apple Chui, a coral restoration researcher at the Chinese University of hong kong says

” Restoration should be the last resort, we should protect before we restore.”

Working in partnership with the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park,

To exactly prin the biomimicry patterns, an algorithm is employed.
The tiles are printed in the shape of platygyra or brain coral, which is found in nature.
The platygyra’s tunnels are a haven for marine life and a safe haven for predators.
Hoi Ha Wan’s project is projected to last another two years.

with 10 new test sites currently in planning phases.
there is also research into alternative materials by the team.
3D holds potential in solving some of the world’s crises,

and we look to inspire others to tackle issues using 3d additive manufacturing.

Source: CNN, Youtube

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