Credit: Eneke Panuku / CyBe Construction/ QOROX | 3D concrete printed limpets and barnacles | FR: Crédit : Eneke Panuku / CyBe Construction/ QOROX | Limnées et balanes imprimées en béton 3D

Rising sea levels, declining water quality, decreasing marine biodiversity, and vanishing coral reefs are environmental challenges threatening the oceans’ well-being. Organizations such as Eke Panuku go the extra mile to address these challenges.

Based in New Zealand, Eke Panuku is a council-controlled organization that delivers urban regeneration in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland. In their latest endeavor, they have contracted 3D concrete printing company QOROX to create artificial barnacles that improve biodiversity.

QOROX leverages a concrete 3D printer from technology provider CyBe Construction to manufacture these 3D concrete printed limpets and barnacles.

The man-made barnacles, when placed in the water, create a rockpool effect, providing microhabitats that form a home for many sea creatures. The 3D concrete printing of these elements, however, came with unique benefits. “Normally these marine modules are not purpose-built; they have a standard form,” explains Fiona Knox, Priority Location Director at Eke Panuku, when asked why they opted for 3D printing. “However, we needed them to be a unique size and shape, so we sought the help of 3D printing specialists QOROX based in Hamilton.”

Not only does 3D concrete printing allow for more freedom in their design, but the material also enables oceanic flora to thrive on it, resulting in a source of food and shelter for marine life. This all comes with the capability of 3D printing technology to build more affordable, faster, and more sustainable structures.

QOROX’ name might be new in this part of the world. The company that also acts as a reseller of CyBe Construction’s construction 3D printers, would have introduced 3D concrete printing to New Zealand in 2018.  Some of their achievements include the first 3D printed commercial building and the largest fully 3D printed building in the Southern Hemisphere.

In addition to these impressive buildings, they have also delivered a type of artificial reef in the past, closely resembling the function of the new barnacles. These reefs, to be placed around pillars in the water to attract marine life, were imbued with seashells to research if this improves the area’s biodiversity.

Now that Eke Panuku has taken note of QOROX’s efforts to improve our oceans’ wellbeing, the company will be able to apply their sustainable approach even more effectively.

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