These 3D printed tiles are helping restore devastated coral reefs

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Terra-cotta ceramics have been used for thousands of years, but a particularly 21st-century application gives the material an entirely new purpose.

Marine scientists and architects from the Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and its Robotic Fabrication Lab of the faculty of architecture, respectively, worked together to 3D print terra-cotta tiles that will act as artificial reefs. The result is a mesmerizing, organic swirl of line and negative space that reads like a burnt orange topographic map—and mimics the natural patterns of the coral itself.

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