The technology of3D printingit can be used to safeguard ecosystems. Numerous applications are possible in the clean energy sector and, according to researchers from the Saudi Reef team, the3D printingit can counteract the degradation that has hit coral reefs in recent years.
Reef Saudi is a team of designers, scientists and researchers from Australia’s Sustainable Oceans International. The team has launched a program that includes the production and insertion ofartificial barriers printed with 3D technology. Once printed, the reefs are set up off the coast of Bahrain where overfishing has had a detrimental impact on the health of the seabed.
The Saudi Reef group submerged nearly 3,000 concrete spheres but the construction of these structures was quite long and cumbersome. Researchers have found a better way to implantartificial barriers. The solution came as a result of the partnership with a group of specialists in rapid prototyping with 3D technology. The union of the two teams led to the development of oneartificial barrier3D printed using a non-toxic sandstone material and patented by them.
The patented material is non-toxic and has a surface very similar to that of natural rocks, has a neutral pH and on the whole it is very suitable for hosting coral larvae looking for a home. With the3D printingthe two teams managed to get very close to the forms offered by nature. Another advantage is the speed and control offered by theprint: small changes can be made easily, this helps to diversify the background and it is well known that diversity is fundamental in nature.
The team can even process a three-dimensional image file of a natural coral reef and then copy and 3D print it.
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