Coral skeletons crafted from 3D-printed calcium carbonate could restore damaged reefs

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Coral Carbonate is a research project that involves 3D printing with calcium carbonate to create sustainable underwater "houses" for coral polyps and marine life to grow. Developed by US design workshop Objects and Ideograms , the project is intended to facilitate the restoration of coral reefs – one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth. The 3D-printed Coral Carbonate objects have cylindrical bodies with porous, rocky surfaces. These are modelled on the form of natural coral skeletons, which are also made from calcium carbonate and act as the foundations of all coral reef structures. Like coral skeletons, these units encourage the growth of reefs because the nooks and crannies in their surfaces act as homes for coral polyps and marine life to flourish. "With rising ocean temperatures and increase in acidification, many aquatic organisms using calcification to create their homes are being rapidly destroyed," explained Alex Schofield, the architect and design technologist who heads up Objects and Ideograms. "The goal of Coral Carbonate is to print the scaffold for a ‘house’ that biological organisms will inhabit and grow their own new homes and communities," he told Dezeen. "Once embedded, marine life can take advantage of a substrate most similar […]

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