We are creating 3D printed coral habitats with our new 3D printer that is able to print a clay material as opposed to a traditional plastic filament. The clay is safe for the ocean and provides a porous surface to help encourage coral growth.
One of the things about working with clay is that it has to be essentially baked after it is formed. As some of you may have done in art class in school, first you shape the clay and then you put it into an oven called a kiln. The kiln dries the clay and hardens the structure so that it is rigid and durable.
So, after the habitat pieces come out of the 3D printer, they will be put into our kiln to be hardened. We are building this kiln from a brick-like material that will be able to withstand and retain the heat to give us years of service.
Since we are building the kiln ourselves, we have to cut the bricks so that we can fit them together properly. Craig has been hard at work with an angle grinder and a masonry disk cutting the grooves that we need each brick to have. He has finished a lot of them, and he has a lot more to go but hopefully, this kiln will be up and running very soon so that we can get these coral habitats in the water.
We are very excited to get this project rolling and give the coral populations in these waters a great head start and a better chance to rebuild and become the great reefs that they once were! Corals are known as “the Amazon of the sea” because they are so crucial to life on earth so this is a huge priority for us and we are happy to have you following along on the journey!