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Can We Print a New Set of Coral Reefs Before They're Gone?

A closeup look at the three-dimensionally printed structure.

Israeli researchers are using three-dimensional printing to try to restore dying reefs.

Credit: Ezri Tarazi

Scientists at three Israeli institutions are collaborating to restore dying coral reefs via three-dimensional (3D) printing.

Researchers at Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and Bar-Ilan University developed the system, which is being tested off the coast of the Israeli city of Eilat.

The system includes a 3D-printed pole covered in donut-like attachments that "can create large variety and complexity," according to Technion-Israel’s Ezri Tarazi.

The system uses a computer program to generate differences in the design of the replacement reef structure so each component can attract different kinds of fish.

The components are printed from a local-clay ceramic, which can be rapidly installed, then planted with coral.

From Fast Company
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