3D Printed Corals for Marine Life
In nature, corals are formed when tiny organisms called coral polyps secrete a skeleton of calcium carbonate (limestone). Corals and reefs are made up of thousands of polyps.
These polyps are living creatures that grow and die. The cycle repeats and over time, more layers of calcium carbonate are generated giving shape to the similar corals around them. Coral colonies can exist for very long time.
We want to create corals artificially using 3D printing technology. Studies at many universities, (like Cambridge University), have shown that polyps prefer particular shapes when building corals and coral reefs. 3D scanning of coral samples is needed to determine what shapes are ideal for polyps to live and grow in.