Save the corals with 3D printed ceramics from FIT Additive Manufacturing Group

(Credits: Secore International) (Credits: Secore International)

(German version)
(Lupburg/Southborough) Coral reefs worldwide are dying due to warming oceans, plastic rubbish, and water pollution. The looming ecological catastrophe is one of the biggest threats to aquatic health. Its consequences are catastrophic, as coral reefs impact environment and economy, provide rich habitats for underwater creatures, protect coastlines from powerful waves and flooding, and prevent coastal erosion. Now rescue from an unexpected side is in sight: Artificial coral structures, 3D printed by Boston Ceramics, a member of the FIT Additive Manufacturing Group, are sowed onto affected coral reefs to help them recover.

After years of thorough research, several specialists with very different backgrounds have joined forces in the Global Coral Restoration Project under the auspices of SECORE International Inc., who are dedicated to the protection, and restoration of coral reefs. The special knowhow for the design and production of the artificial seed units is contributed by Boston Ceramics, a member of FIT Additive Manufacturing Group and specialized in the 3D printing of ceramics in bionic design. The newly designed elements have approximatively fist-size and are submerged into the ocean during the blossom of the corals. By their star-shaped forms, they attach easily to the coral base, thus stabilizing the whole reef structure. Furthermore, their bionic form is an ideal nursery ground for coral larvae and many more reef inhabiting species.

(Credits: Boston Ceramics) (Credits: Boston Ceramics)

Hightech manufacturing in the service of coral reef restoration
"We are really proud to be part of the Secore project to save the corals", says Carl Fruth, founder and CEO of FIT Additive Manufacturing Group. "The artificial coral pieces are a fantastic practical application of 3D printed ceramics, and the success of the campaign will be of immeasurable value to the ecosystem of the coral reefs and entire oceans. Each part is a small masterpiece related to the complexity of its production. And by using volume additive manufacturing, even such delicate forms can be made available in huge numbers.“

First field testing projects for coral seeding are currently running before the shores of Curaçao, the Bahamas, Mexico, and Guam. If they prove to be successful, the Global Coral Restoration Project formed by Secore International together with the California Academy of Sciences and The Nature Conservancy, has announced to sow one million pieces of seed units onto the most dwindling reefs until 2021.

About the FIT Additive Manufacturing Group:
Founded in 1995, FIT Additive Manufacturing Group is a leading German provider of rapid prototyping and production services using additive design and manufacturing (“ADM”). FIT Additive Manufacturing Group currently employs 300 people, most of them at the company’s headquarters in Lupburg, Germany. Two further manufacturing sites are located in Southern Germany, as well as one in Southborough (USA). In Brasov (Romania), the Group runs a software development center, and it has sales and project management operations in Peoria, IL (USA), Zhukovsky (Russian Federation), and Nagoya (Japan). www.fit.technology

About SECORE International:
SECORE International is a leading conservation organization for the protection and restoration of coral reefs. In a holistic approach to save coral reefs, SECORE is a global network of scientists, public aquarium professionals, and local stakeholders. They use a multidisciplinary strategy combining research, education, outreach, and active reef restoration for the conservation of coral reefs. SECORE experts develop innovative strategies to restore populations of endangered coral species and rehabilitate ecological and economic services of coral reefs around the world. The idea of SECORE (SExual COral REproduction) was born in 2002 with the innovative coral breeding research of Dr. Dirk Petersen at the Rotterdam Zoo. Two years later, Mike Brittsan, M.Sc., Director of Aquatic Sciences at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (USA), joined to establish SECORE in the USA. SECORE International is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The corporation is based in Ohio (USA). http://www.secore.org


Read more about the project:
http://www.secore.org/site/newsroom/article/new-designs-to-give-coral-settlers-a-headstart-for-restoration.170.html

http://www.secore.org/site/newsroom/article/first-test-of-new-floating-rearing-pools.171.html




Press contact:
FIT AG
Dr. Elisabeth Bauer
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Fax: +49 (0) 9492 9429 11
Email: pr@pro-fit.de
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