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3D Printing Technology From Hong Kong Rescues Coral Reef

The Chinese Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department has invested in a project that involves 3D printing terracotta tiles to speed up the recovery process of delicate marine ecosystems.

After a typhoon destroyed extensive coral reefs near Hong Kong, conservationists had struggled to find solutions that would speed up the recovery process of these delicate marine ecosystems.

The Chinese Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department has now invested in a project that involves 3D printing terracotta tiles with elaborate patterns.

An article in 3D Printing Industry had some interesting details about why 3D printed shapes are a better solution.

“The clay-based structures were deployed at three sites within a 40-meter radius of the park, including the nearby Coral Beach and Moon Islands, as well as a sheltered bay near the WWF Marine Life Center. Using their new terracotta tiles, the team aimed to create a hard base for the corals to rest on instead of the sandy seafloor, preventing them from floating away, and improving their chances of survival.”

Researchers believe that these tiles will speed up the regrowth process and also help to avoid damage with future storms.

With the tiles being a lot more stable and there being less risk of them floating away, this could become a huge success story with a cheap solution that researchers can copy in other parts of the world.

The next couple of years will tell a lot, with regular observations leading to new and improved tile designs. 



Chris is one of GreenCitizen’s writers who has been a long-time advocate of individual responsibility when it comes to the environment. He shares GreenCitizen's passion for making the world a better place every day of the year.

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