RSS Monaco will install 3D printed reefs to battle declining reefs

MASA Admin

8 May 2007
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Global warming is rearing its ugly head around on the world’s reefs and Monaco is taking an interesting path to help rejuvenate strained reefs by using 3D printed reefs to help sustain its reefs.

The plan is to install six 3D printed coral reef structures in the Lorvatto Marine Reserve by Boskalis, a Netherlands-based maritime services company. Boskalis was contracted by the Prince Albert II of Monocao Foundation to complete the installation.

According to news reports, each structure takes 13 hours to print and is made of dolomite sand. The reef weights 2.5 tons and measure 1.2 x 2 meters. Each structure will be installed 27 meters under water in 2016.

As a myriad of items have been used for the foundations of artificial reefs, it typically takes quite a bit of time to colonized. The 3D printed reefs offer a more realistic structure than other artificial reefs.

“Scientists drew the curves and cavities of the reefs, adapting them to the specific marine species. The goal is for the biodiversity in these waters to appropriate the reefs and colonize them as they do in nature,” said Philippe Mondielli, scientific director the Prince Albert II Foundation.

Hopefully things will work out, as scientists plan to observe developments for two years to compare how it fares next to concrete reefs.

We are hoping this technology makes its way to the hobby. Imagine being able to design and print artificial live rock structures unique to everyone’s aquarium?

[See image gallery at] [via iDigitalTimes]

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