XtreeE and Seaboost Give the Sea a Boost with a 3D Printed Coral Reef

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[Image: Seaboost]

Right now is not a great time to be a coral reef. Warming ocean waters are causing bleaching, which is what happens when a coral’s symbiotic microalgae, which give the coral its bright color, die off, causing the coral itself to die. Those warmer temperatures allow for the proliferation of disease, too, and the rising amount of carbon dioxide is leading to acidification of the oceans, which dissolves coral and makes it harder for it to grow. Then there are problems that include overfishing, damaging fishing practices using cyanide and dynamite, pollution from sewage and agriculture, invasive species, and sedimentation from poor agricultural practices.

That’s only part of a long list of the threats against coral, but why are the reefs so important, you may wonder? There are a lot of reasons why protecting coral reefs is urgent. Most people understand that it would be a bad thing if the reefs all died, but not everyone realizes what a direct impact the loss of coral reefs would have on humans. For one thing, coral reefs protect coastlines from damaging waves and tropical storms. Without coral, there’s no buffer against erosion, floods, property damage and even loss of life. The fishing industry depends heavily on the presence of coral reefs, too, as many fish spawn there and juvenile fish spend time there before heading out to sea.

Far more than just humans would be affected by the loss of the reefs, however – they house some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, and many species rely on the reefs for their survival. If you’ve studied biology even a little bit, you’ll likely recall the ripple effect the loss of even one species has on an ecosystem, and the loss of the coral reefs would result in a staggering loss of life below the waves – and above them, too, as other creatures such as birds were deprived of major food sources.

That leads to the question: what’s to be done? Changing human behavior is crucial – taking steps to halt climate change, using less damaging fishing and agricultural practices, etc. But those things take time, and the coral reefs still need to be given a chance to recover, to catch up. Thankfully, we humans have the technology for that. In the waters off the coast of France’s Calanques National Park, a large chunk of 3D printed concrete has just been immersed. It’s not just any chunk of concrete; it’s been specially designed to mimic the structure of a coral reef, with the hope that it will attract fish and other marine life – and, most importantly, free-floating baby coral polyps. If these polyps embed themselves in the concrete and begin to grow, you have the beginnings of a new coral reef.

This particular concrete reef was designed by French marine conservation organization Seaboost and large-scale 3D printing company XtreeE. While neither organization has commented on the material the reef is made of, XtreeE describes it as a “biomimetic, porous� material, similar to coral itself.

The first 3D printed reef was sunk in the Persian Gulf in 2012. Since then, there have been several others, in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Australia and elsewhere. Now it’s a game of wait and see what happens. The reefs are being monitored over the course of several years, and if they successfully attract life forms that build them into living reefs, we could see this kind of project being implemented on a large scale.

So much of the damage done to the environment has been caused by humans and our technology – but it could also be our technology that saves the environment, if we use it right. 3D printing new coral reefs is a great step in the right direction.

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Heat-set insert installation tip for #4-40, M3, and M5 inserts compatible with Weller and Hakko soldering irons. Used for connecting 3D printed parts using heat-set inserts.

Heat set inserts are a great way to improve connection strength between 3D printed parts. However, if you have tried to set heat-set inserts in your plastic or 3D printed part with your soldering iron, you may have had the frustration of pushing the insert in only to have it come right back out stuck to your soldering iron and ruining your part in the process. Most soldering iron tips can catch on the rim of the insert causing it to stick on the iron when you pull the iron out. If you use the “horizontal method” it’s hard to know the insert is straight. Our insert tips have a vertical wall that solves that problem. The iron pulls right out after pressing the hot insert. Because the shoulder is square it’s easier to know if the insert is square in the piece, something that’s harder to control with a conical soldering tip. The shank is much longer (0.75″) and narrower than what you get with the McMaster-Carr insert tip (only 0.25″ long), allowing you to set small inserts into corners of parts without melting the side of the part. This is especially useful if you’re mounting a circuit board in a 3D printed box or doing a mounting that requires the insert to come close to the edge of the part. Who wants to pay $15 plus shipping just for one size McMaster tip that is only a few millimeters long and only good for a few types of applications? Who wants to buy another soldering iron just to fit the tip? Compatibility with 1/4″ Weller insert and set screw style and internal ceramic heating element units like Hakko hopefully will let you use the iron you already own. These tips are 1.6″ (40 mm) long with the tip portion about 0.75″ (19mm). There is a 5/32″ internal cavity for ceramic heaters. On Weller irons, the 1/4″ shank can be extended as far as the set screw will allow. On Hakko irons, the 0.75″ is the reach with 1/4″ clearance. Two tips included, one for #4-40 and M3 and the other for M5 inserts.

Product Features

  • Longer shank than McMaster tip allows you to reach deeper into 3D printed parts and tight corners to install heat-set inserts without touching your iron and melting the plastic
  • Installation tip works better than soldering iron tip since conical tips can catch on the insert and accidentally pull the insert out while melting the plastic and ruining the part.
  • One tip works for #4-40 and M3 and the other tip works for M5 inserts for same price as one McMaster tip. More types of inserts and better reach than other installation tips. #4/M3 tip works okay for #6 and M4 inserts, but just not a perfect fit…still better than a soldering iron.
  • Tips are compatible with both 1/4″ Weller irons and internal ceramic heaters of many Hakko models. No other tip is compatible with both kinds of soldering irons. McMaster tip is not at all compatible with Hakko irons. These installation tips slide over the ceramic heating element of the Hakko irons, just like the soldering iron tip, while still fitting in the 1/4″ chamber of a Weller iron.
  • If you need some brass inserts to get going, search Amazon for UPC 040232004094 which has 20 #4-40 inserts included with the installation tips. A must-have for every 3D printer toolbox. Made in Colorado, USA. Not intended to be used for soldering. Soldering iron not included.

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3D white bow tie by ACC- Unique design bowtie for men- Premium quality 3D printed bow tie- Original 3D bowtie for special occasions

Product description: It comes a time when a man has to dress with style, but that time can be every day. Maybe you are going to a wedding, to a business reception or to a casual meeting. No matter the reason, you really have to look outstanding. If you choose a bowtie over a tie, that says a lot about you. It means you like to stand out from the crowd and you love to make a difference when attending that special occasion. But what if you choose to wear an original 3D bow tie that no one has? Well, the 3D butterfly bow tie is that one of a kind accessory ready to attract all eyes. You know they will stare, so make them worth their while. The ACC bowtie is a premium quality 3D printed butterfly bow tie with the mission of creating an impressive outfit.
Main features:
•Revolutionary accessory: Don’t worry, this is not an ordinary bowtie, because it would be just boring. This 3D printed bowtie is an original and innovative item which is a “must-have” for the modern man.
•3D printed design: The ACC bowtie is carefully printed using some of the best performing 3D printers for a superior quality and a long-lasting use.
•Easy to use and maintain: For the perfect look, just attach the 3D bow tie with your favorite shirt and you are ready for everything! It is recommended to wash the bowtie manually to avoid rupture.

Product Features

  • UNIQUE BOWTIE DESIGN FOR MEN: The ACC bowtie has a unique design, bringing innovation into your life and into your wardrobe. Forget about the ordinary because now you can have the extraordinary, for an original look, every time you want to impress.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY 3D BOWTIE: This 3D printed bowtie is made using some of the best performing 3D printers, which makes it a durable accessory, ready to upgrade your style. Its premium quality assures you that you can keep it forever, in the same shape you got it for the first time.
  • ORIGINAL 3D BOWTIE FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS: Be different and wear the original 3D printed bow tie. The item is ideal for casual or elegant events, where a dress code may be required.
  • CREATIVITY MAKES THE DIFFERENCE: It is hard for a man to create a special outfit, especially when he goes for a “black tie”, but with a little tweak, you can change the common “black tie” with something original. This is a creative bowtie for men, ready to add a modern touch to your every appearance.
  • PRODUCT/PACKAGE SPECIFICATIONS: The product has the following dimensions 4.3 x 0.4 x 2.2 inches and a shipping weight of 0.8 ounces. The package is lightweight and it will be easy for you to storage your 3D bowtie everywhere.

Detailed Information available on our Homepage…