The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the 3D printed reef at Summer Island Resort as the largest 3D printed reef in the world.
The largest 3D-printed reef structure built from ceramic is the MARS (modular artificial reef structure) installation, which was added to an existing coral nursery and was submerged in 2018 at the Summer Island’s iconic ‘Blue Lagoon’.
Such an initiative by Summer Island hopes to raise awareness regarding the use of 3D technologies to assist nature’s eco system development in curating new homes for marine species.
The 3D reef project was first started by Industrial Designer Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab who used the corals found in Maldives’ reefs as his source of reference. It took more than 24 hours of continuous printing to mould structures of the corals in ceramic.The final pyramid-like, latticed design comprises 36 modules and 12 half modules and has dimensions of 2.41 x 2.29 m (7 ft 11 in x 7 ft 6 in) for the base – giving it a footprint of around 5.5 m2 (59.2 sq ft) – and stands 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) tall.
As coral reefs around the world increasingly come under threat from rising temperatures and other man-made damage, especially in the Maldives, there have been numerous attempts to build artificial reefs with varying degrees of success.