Designers have created a project to create artificial corals to protect endangered reefs
The American design studio Objects and Ideograms has announced the launch of the Coral Carbonate project, in which specialists print artificial corals on a 3D printer and then immerse them in the ocean to help restore coral reefs – one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth. The head of Objects and Ideograms and the head of the Coral Carbonate project Alex Schofield explained that the work on creating artificial corals began 3 years ago. During this time, designers have found the optimal shape and composition for printed elements. According to Schofield, all previous projects use materials unnatural to the marine ecosystem to create corals.
“Artificial corals do not exactly replicate the structure of natural ones – 3D printing has allowed us to create surface patterns and spatial shapes optimized to create as much surface area as possible. Our project is safer for nature than the existing options for creating artificial corals from materials uncharacteristic of the marine ecosystem, not to mention the use of garbage like old subway cars, “said Dezeen Alex Schofield.
Coral Carbonate is printed from calcium carbonate – a widely used chemical compound that is also widely used in industry. Printed corals are a structure assembled in a cylinder, which is modeled according to the structures of real corals. The first batch of Coral Carbonate in the test together with the California College of Arts was immersed in water at the Float Lab in the Gulf of San Francisco. The only limitation for the production of artificial corals is the number of available 3D printers.