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 pollutions cause massive loss of habits on land and sea,
Due to human activity earth’s coral reefs are steadily declining,
This could bring earth’s biodiversity to a halt if measures are not taken to prevent it.
Known as one of the world’s concrete jungles, only a few know hong kong is one of the most biodiverse cities in the world and has more hard coral species than the Caribbean.

But the efforts of ArchiREEF could help corals grow stronger and restore ocean life
The solution: 3D printed terracotta tiles designed to help corals grow and restore life.
co-founded in 2020 by marine biology professor David baker and PhD student Vriko yu,

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,

The team has been able to repopulate times the amount of coral, in contrast to the normal concrete methods of coral preservation.
With growing Climate change and Urban development and their adverse effects on the biodiversity found in corals, we can rest a bit easy at knowing ArchREEF is helping fight this global crisis with Additive manufacturing.
While submerged concrete structures most times replace the function of the coral as a habitat for marine life,

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.


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,

An algorithm is used to precisely prin the biomimicry patterns.
The tiles are printed to mimic the naturally occurring shape of platygyra or brain coral.
the caverns on the platygyra serve as a host to marine life and a hiding place for predators.
The project with Hoi Ha Wan is expected to go on for another 2 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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