Coral Context: Where Are We At?

My DA project blog  ‘Coral Reef Rescue’ has opened my eyes to the world of environmental issues, restoration options and technologies of the future. This blog allowed me to explore the world of 3D printing, environmental impacts and current global projects.

((Most of my time was dedicated to actually using the technology (at UOW Makerspace) and gaining firsthand experience, which helped me when writing my blogs as I was confident in using terms and themes relating to the technology))

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This project allowed me to explore the #BCM325 challenge of questioning the future of 5, 10 or even 50 years-time by understanding how we can utilise this technology to change the future of our environment and help our Earth be restored to its natural beauty by encouraging growth and breeding.

It holds a strong utility as 3D technology is highly important to the future and coral restoration: it will help shape the future of our reefs. On a smaller scale for utility, I feel my DA allows audiences to become informed about both 3D printing and environmental issues. I believe we should be thinking of this two issues not independently anymore but joint opportunities. To highlight the severity of coral reefs situations, it is estimated that coral reefs around the world could be mostly wiped out by 2050 or soon after. So when we are asking the question about the future and discussing in 50 years time, we may not even be able to discuss coral reefs existence anymore. 3D printing offers us a way around losing all of the world’s coral reefs.

In particular, the importance of 3D printing was highlighted when the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals discussed how 3D printing will be assisting them in achieving their goals. It is discussed how 3D printers will become increasingly versatile, which is important to help with the ever-evolving aspects of environmental issues.

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In order to construct my blog successfully, I relied quite heavily on background research, including current projects such as Reef Design Lab’s Maldives MARS projects. I followed this project closely throughout my whole process, learning a lot about different types of models and locations used and it assisted in my final blog posts where I discussed this and another project looking at the different materials and processes they each went through. I think being able to research this project and follow RDL’s journey helped cement the idea of 3D printing as a suitable environmental alternative, as I was able to watch it in action through the various video and articles completed about this project.

I was still unable to address my biggest drawbacks of the limited models I could use, only finding 2, if giving more time I would have loved to love how to 3D model and create my own. Something I would have changed was to start writing earlier (rather than spending all my time at UOW Makerspace) and gained feedback from public quicker to edit and adapt my content in a more audience-orientated way.

And in response to limited public feedback, I utilised fellow students around university, mainly those involved in  UOW Makerspace to understanding the main things they wish to see in a blog surrounding environmental issues, to attempt to create a more user-friendly blog site.

I feel my project overall was successful, I personally gained a lot of understanding and I believe my posts on Twitter attracted some welcome attention to 3D printing as a viable option for environmental projects. And despite a few early hiccups,  I managed to successfully complete 6 prints which  I am proud of!

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