Hong Kong startup Reef Factory uses 3D-printed tiles to help restore coral reefs. The tiles are made from a biodegradable material designed to mimic the structure of natural coral, providing a surface for coral to grow on.
A healthy coral reef is a complex ecosystem made up of a variety of living and non-living components. The living features of a healthy coral reef include a diverse array of coral species, fish, invertebrates, and algae, all of which interact to create a thriving ecosystem. Non-living components of a coral reef include the physical structure of the reef, such as rocks and sand, as well as the water chemistry and flow patterns. Researchers use advanced imaging techniques such as photogrammetry, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), or structured light scanning to capture the reef’s shape, size, and texture.
Using technology to aid in coral restoration, Reef Factory is helping protect one of the world’s most important ecosystems.