Renewing Coral Growth with 3D Printing

The world’s largest 3D-printed reef was installed by Summer Island Maldives in an effort to nourish and protect coral reefs.

Delicate reef ecosystems are under threat from climate change which has blighted many reefs across the Maldives in a phenomenon known as coral ‘bleaching.’ The artificial reef was designed by an Australian industrial engineer who 3D-printed the moulds which were the locally cast in concrete and sunk to create an artificial reef.

The resort hopes this reef will provide a nourishing ecosystem for coral transplanted from their onsite nursery which can then grow to support a thriving marine ecosystem. Success of the project could give rise to new technology-driven ways of addressing the impact of climate change.