Startup uses 3D-printed titles to help restore coral reefs

Startup uses 3D-printed titles to help restore coral reefs

CBS Mornings


By Ramy Inocencio

CBS News

Coral can be revived with 3D printed “tiles”.

Coral is being resurrected around the globe by 3D-printed “tiles”.


A startup in Hong Kong aims to help coral adapt to changing environments Problems Humans have caused — through its innovative use 3D printing and Terracotta.

There are more coral species in Hong Kong’s subtropical waters than in the Caribbean. However, the South China Sea used have even greater natural beauty.

David Baker, a coral ecologist from the University of Hong Kong, stated that “We believe this area was a paradise for corals.” “Those who have been with us since the World War II generation tell you that the water was crystal-clear and that there was coral everywhere.”

However, pollution and runoff grew as Hong Kong became more industrialized.

Baker co-founded Archireef to rebuild the “paradise Lost”, an eco-engineering startup.

His team 3D printed artificial reef tiles from terracotta using a world-first technique. They are non-toxic and biodegradable. The tiles were placed on the sandy bottom in a protected bay, and the team seeded them with live coral. 95% of the tiles survived the past two years.

Baker was asked how he came up the idea. He said, “I just thought one evening that, why don’t we tile the seafloor like we would tile our kitchen or bathroom floors?”

The tiles could be used worldwide for coral adaptation. This would have benefits for both humanity and the ocean. Coral reefs are a protection for homes and businesses by absorbing the destructive effects of storms. Coral is an important part of tourism, fisheries and medicine.

Scientists predict coral will be found in 70% to 90% of the world’s oceans by 2020. will disappear In the next 20 years.

Archireef now has an office in Abu Dhabi and a 3D printer for industrial applications.

Vriko Yu (Archireef’s co-founder), stated that “We have our own ecoengineering facility.”

Yu recently moved from Hong Kong, and wants to help coral move. The temperature in the Persian Gulf can reach 118 degrees. Higher temperatures can cause death.

Yu stated, “We can help migration to help these corals migrate in deeper waters.”

Coral tiles can also be used to bridge isolated coral communities that have been separated by climate change-induced mass die-offs.

Ramy Inocencio


Ramy Inocencio, a foreign correspondent for CBS News, is based in London. She previously served as an Asia correspondent based out of Beijing.


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