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Starfish Coral Printing

Starfish Coral Printing

We have our 3D printer up and running and we are starting to produce coral habitats! This 3D printing project has been in the hands of Arianna and she has been doing a fantastic job. Using a 3D printer like this is a new experience for all of us but we are adapting well so far.

Normal 3D printers use a plastic filament to print the shapes but we didn’t want to introduce any more plastic into the ocean. This 3D printer is unique in the fact that it uses a clay material to print marine-safe coral habitats that we can then plant with coral polyps in hopes of giving the coral growth in the area a huge head start.

As with everything, there are some hiccups and bumps along the road. Unfortunately, Arianna found one of those today when the clay dispenser had a pressure buildup that resulted in a little explosion of clay. It’s no big deal and we will be back in action soon.

We are printing clay starfish that will work as coral habitats. These starfish will look natural so they won’t disturb the seascape and won’t stand out as something that was man-made and placed. Over time, the corals will build their structures and hopefully cover these starter habitats but until then, we want to keep things looking as natural as possible.

We are printing a bunch of these little starfish so that we can deploy them in the water here in Panama. Each one will act as a seed to help grow coral gardens below the SeaPods and in the area. If we see good results here in Panama, then we will hopefully be able to replicate those results in different parts of the world and bring the once flourishing coral reefs back to their original glory!

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