Maldives Waters to House “World’s Largest 3D Printed Reef”

By Paul Joseph

The advancements in 3D printing technology continue apace, with new that the world’s largest 3D printed coral reef is to be homed in the in the turquoise waters of the Maldives.

Created by an Australian company called Reef Design Labs, the innovative reef is part of an attempt to stabilise the area’s dwindling ocean life.

To kick-start the project, experts as Reef Design Labs put together 3D moulds of the reef structures and 3D printed them over a span of 24 hours.

They then cast the structures in ceramic, which is similar to the calcium carbonate found in actual coral reefs, before finally shipping them to Maldives where they were filled with concrete, assembled and then dropped into the ocean.

As a final step, live coral was transplanted onto the artificial reef, in the hope that it will grow further on and form a new living reef within 2-3 years.

Speaking about the venture, Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab said, “3D printing technology helps us to develop more innovative ways of protecting coral reefs.

“The technology allows us to mimic the complexity of natural reef structures, so we can design artificial reefs that closely resemble those found in nature. We hope this will be a more effective way of growing and restoring corals.”

Earlier this year, Fairmont hotel in the Maldives also launched their own Coralarium, the world’s first semi-submerged art gallery, 

By Paul Joseph