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Researchers use 3D printing technology to help rebuild coral reefs – Israel News



  Israeli researchers use 3D printing technology to help rebuild coral reefs

A man submits a snorkel to a place called & # 39; Coral Gardens & # 39 ; near Lady Elliot Island, on the Great Barrier Reef.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Researchers at the Technion ̵

1; Israel Institute of Technology Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Bar-Ilan University are collaborating on a project to help rebuild coral reef systems around the world, using a 3D printing model to create artificial fence structures, according to research published by universities.

Coral reef systems continue to be degraded throughout the world. This technology, which is now being applied offshore off Eilat, will help to promote the diversity of the underwater ecosystem by introducing these structural activities to systems that no longer sustain themselves.

Coral reefs are disappearing for many reasons, due to both natural and man-made causes, mainly from the warmer waters of climate change, fishing dynamics and sunscreen chemicals reaching the reefs. . Invasive fish, such as lion-fish, hunting in coral reefs, also cause them great harm.

More than 30% of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia, was hit by heatwaves occurring in 2016 and 2017, raising water temperatures in inaccessible levels for natural systems. Scientists have indicated that if the average soil temperature rises another four degrees Fahrenheit, almost all coral reef systems in the world will disappear, which are used as essential nurseries for many fish-feeding species a billion people a year.

3D printed reefs can mimic natural shapes that attract different species of fish, which will use these artificial structures as their nurseries, in a nursery. attempt to restore the vibrant populations of fish that once inhabited the coral reefs of Eilat.

"Many factors are known to affect the possible recruitment of reef organisms and especially fish. An important factor is the structural complexity of a coral colony, which provides habitat in living fish. It has been shown that a coral-like structure is associated with biodiversity reefs, "the researchers said.

The 3D printer uses polyactic acid, a biodegradable and bio-active bio-plastic made of corn, cassava or tube, to create column-like structures which can be installed in water. From there, columns were planted individually on coral farms to mimic the complexity of the coral scent of the ecosystem.

These efforts have in theory returned important species of fish back to these areas in an attempt to completely regenerate the arid reefs off the coast of Eilat.

Scientists have played around with many different shapes, colors and materials to produce the final product design introduced on the coast of Israel. Previous indicators suggest that the preferences of many of these species differ depending on the comparison of material and color combinations.

"As a research team made up of marine biologists and designers, we seek to find the next skills and tools to explore the ecological function of coral morphology," say the researchers. "We believe that the rehabilitation and management of the coral reef as well as the construction of artificial reefs require a better understanding of how single morphological morphology interacts with the inhabitants." whether synthetic structures can create a natural ecosystem where fish species important for these ecosystems can thrive, as well as the benefits of using advanced design tools. such as 3D scanning and manipulation to create artificial corals.

"A successful implementation of this study could enhance our understanding of coral interactions in their surrounding environment, provide design tools for public displays such as large ones aquariums and therefore reduce their reliance on live corals, and provide an important design guide and tools when approaching the issue of active coral reef restoration, ”the researchers explained.

"Biological resu. It has to process and review lts of research before they can be published. However, the design phase of the process was completed in the second phase, in which 20 objects were installed in the Red Sea for preliminary findings show that fish and invertebrates use 3D printed corals and find them a good 'home' that they trust in laying their eggs. [in] "they conclude.

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