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3D-Printed Tiles Helping Restore Devastated Coral Reefs

Aquatic wildlife check out the new artificial coral tiles.

Three-dimensionally-printed terra-cotta tiles are being used as artificial coral reefs, to help restore devastated coral colonies around Hong Kong.

Credit: Vriko Yu/HKU

Marine scientists and architects from the University of Hong Kong's Swire Institute of Marine Science and its Robotic Fabrication Laboratory created three-dimensionally (3D)-printed terra-cotta tiles to function as artificial coral reefs, in order to help restore devastated coral colonies.

Coral presence has declined in Hong Kong in recent years, according Hong Kong-based environmental group Green Power.

Manmade or artificial reefs can help restore coral populations by recreating an environment amenable to their growth.

The terra-cotta tiles were seeded with coral fragments and placed across three sites in Hong Kong's Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, where coral growth will be monitored for the next two years.

From Fast Company
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