MALE, Maldives aug. 16, 2018 / PRNewswire / – & # 39; The world's largest 3-D printed reef was submerged on Saturday (August 11) at Summer Island Maldives, in what could be hoped for a new technology-driven method to help survive coral reefs global warming.
Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/731604/Largest_3_D_Printed_Reef.jpg
The artificial reef, assembled with hundreds of ceramic and concrete modules, was immersed in the Blue Lagoon & # 39; on Summer Island – a sandy part of the lagoon, where the resort hopes to create a new ecosystem for coral reefs.
The project started in a laboratory in Melbourne, Australia where industrial designer Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab used advanced computer models to design reef structures similar to the coral reefs that occur naturally are found on the Maldives.
A large 3D printer that lugged away for 24 hours to print molds from the reef structures. These molds were cast in ceramics – an inert substance, similar to the calcium carbonate found in coral reefs. The ceramic molds were shipped to the Maldives and filled with concrete on the beach of Summer Island.
220 ceramic, concrete-filled molds were then slid together, like a gigantic LEGO set, to create the new reef.
The new reef is in seven meters of water, close to the existing coral nursery of the resort. Fragments of coral from the nursery are transplanted on the 3-D reef, where they will grow and colonize the structure.
As Alex explains: "3D printing technology helps us to develop more innovative ways to protect coral reefs, using technology to mimic the complexity of natural reef structures so that we can design artificial reefs that are very similar to each other found in nature, we hope this is a more effective way to grow and restore corals. "
In a year or two, when the corals have grown over the 3-D reef, the resort hopes new, natural-looking reef, full of fish and marine life.
If 3D printing technology proves to be more successful in growing corals than the existing methods for breeding corals, it could be a new way to help coral reefs survive a warm climate.
The Maldives is one of the world's most climate-vulnerable countries. Rising sea temperatures pose a serious threat to the coral reefs in the world, and mass bleaching events are becoming more common and more serious.
Summer Island Maldives has implemented a number of recent environmental initiatives, including the adoption of solar energy, a ban on the use of plastic straws, the reduction of imported drinking water and projects for the conservation of coral.
Summer Island Resort Manager Mari Shareef explains: "Projects such as the 3D-printed reef are popular among guests who love that we protect our environment and it is not only for the Our employees, most of whom are Maldivian, want to protect their environment. Finally, we want to promote a culture of environmental management, not only on Summer Island, but on the Maldives . "  YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6aFsPbtth0[19659016horizontOTENTODEREDACTEURS
For media or scientific questions, and for information about the project, including photos and video images, contact Aminath Shauna : [email protected]
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