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3D Printing joins the fight to save our coral reefs

3D Printed Reef 8 Months Later

The dangers of coral reef bleaching are upon us. The rising water temperatures due to global warming are cooking coral reefs and in turn, are eroding their colour and very life. Ecologists are racing to save coral reefs before they are lost forever, and one viable solution is 3D printing.

Coral reefs are home to algae, zooplankton as well as a variety of sea creatures. Coral reefs help support a quarter of all ocean life as well as helping guard against coastal erosion.  The algae living inside coral supplies nutrients that helps create its vivid colour. Unfortunately radical cuts to carbon pollution will do little to slow their demise as a warming of only 1.5% will put 90% of coral reefs at risk.

When stressed coral ejects its algae and turns white (coral bleaching.) If this continues for an extended period of time, the coral then dies. Our unusually warm waters have caused mass bleaching worldwide. Adding to this dilemma is carbon pollution which have turned oceans more acidic, making it harder for coral polyps to absorb calcium and become the coral we all know and love.

3D Printed Reef

Baby coral are drawn to healthy white or pink coloured reefs with crevices and holes where they will be safe from being destroyed or eaten by predators. 3D printers are looking to recreate these environmental properties with 3D printed sandstone. Others have 3D printed artificial coral made of calcium carbonate. This coral would slowly dissolve in the reef and in turn make the surrounding waters less acidic.
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George the chameleon is a mascot of the X3D brand. Having a vast knowledge of 3D printing you can see him lurking on Blogger writing handy articles and tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your 3D printing endeavours. George loves changing colours with X3D Printing Filaments. [George the Chameleon] (


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