Crowdfunding since 2010

With the latest 3D printing technology, we are able to imitate and rebuild nature.

Using purely mineral 3D printing from ING3D GmbH, it is possible for the first time to print natural support elements for corals that are not made of concrete, plastic or other synthetic materials. The individually printed elements are anchored in the sea and can be observed using permanently installed underwater cameras as they colonize corals.
Funding period
9/1/23 - 10/27/23
Early 2024
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Primary sustainable development goal
Climate action

What is this project all about?

The beauty of our oceans is fading - the coral reefs are dying. We have already lost almost 50% of the world's coral. Coral bleaching is mainly caused by acidification of the seas coupled with rising water temperatures. This leads to the dissolution of the layers of lime - comparable to removing limescale in a kettle, the surfaces of the coral reefs dissolve. As a result, corals cannot grow any further and eventually die.

Our solution:
Our material is pure volcanic sand that remains stable in acids and high temperatures. This gives the coral larvae a better starting position. Additionally the porous 3D-printed material has a filtering effect on heavy metals and is instantly a natural looking breakwater – like the corals itself. With now more efficient growing corals, CO2 from the sea water can be faster converted in stable lime and the recovering fish population binds additional CO2.
With the drill-like 3D-printed shape we can easily fix the coral substrates on the seabed without using concrete or steel reinforcement like most other coral reafforestation programms.

In the first phase, the coral support elements will be printed and anchored in the sea at vulnerable locations (Maldives as the first location). In the second phase, heat-resistant coral larvae are to be attached to the surface of the prototypes in advance in cooperation with our partner, the University of Oldenburg, so that renaturation can begin immediately. Our long-term vision is to print the coral bricks on-site on the shores of vulnerable reefs using local sand and solar energy.

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

CO2RALS by ING3D stands for the reforestation and renaturation of coral reefs thanks to innovative and sustainable 3D printing.

Companies (B2B) and private individuals (B2C) who really want to make a difference in the field of climate protection can have individual coral building blocks printed with their own logo/name and monitor them 24/7 thanks to underwater cameras. In this way, everyone can watch over time how the sensitive and vital ecosystem is gradually being rebuilt.

Why would you support this project?

With the support of our project, not only the threatened coral reefs and the associated ecosystem in the sea will be rebuilt. But everyone can watch their individually printed coral grow and thrive - thanks to permanently installed underwater cameras 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Your personal aquarium - your personal contribution to climate protection!

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?

Thanks to your financial support, we can design and print one coral element for every €1,000, transport it to the Maldives and anchor it in the sea there. At €100,000 this would be a small reef with a new, habitable coral area - a small coral village that we built together and offers many sea creatures a new home.

The costs for streaming the underwater world are also covered and updates such as AI-based fish analyzes and professional monitoring await you soon.

Who are the people behind the project?

Since founding the mineral 3D printing company ING3D in 2017, we had the idea to print pure coral substrates to start the restoration of the destroyed reefs. Other reef reconstruction projects we've seen have been encouraging - but given the unnatural materials used, such as steel, concrete or even plastic, we realized: we can do better! After six years of development - from the first prototype to our industrial pilot plant - we can finally start the CO2RALS project. The positive feedback and enormous interest we have received so far - from cooperation partners, customers and friends - motivated us all the more to take the first step of many towards a bright future with intact reefs and a living ocean.

Thanks to streamocean - our partner for the camera recordings. Likewise PCB-Arts, who were involved in the construction of the AI cameras and used their network. Rrreef and University of Oldenburg, for the critical backlighting of our project and the technical input in the field of (marine) biology all around corals. The ING3D investors va-Q-tec and Liedtke Vermögensverwaltung, who support 3D printing technology. As well as TIK Media, who implemented the marketing and accompanied the campaign.


What are the sustainable development goals of this project?

Primary sustainable development goal

Climate action

Why does this project contribute to this goal?

Die Aufforstung von Korallen ist ein aktiver Akt des Klimaschutzes. Mit der Möglichkeit der Personalisierung und Beobachtung der Korallensubstrate soll ein stärkeres Gemeinschaftsgefühl gegenüber diesem Ökosystem für die breite Bevölkerungsschicht geschaffen werden. Es wird für Unternehmen geworben die Korallensubstrate auch als (direkte und indirekte) CO2-Speicher zu erkennen und somit den Schutz und Wiederaufforstung voranzutreiben.

This project also pays toward those goals

Life below water

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