3D Printed Reefs

The world's first 3D printed reef was a collaborative effort between RDL’s own David Lennon, Sydney architect James Gardiner who introduced the technique for AR's, DSHAPE in Italy, and Reef Arabia in Bahrain.

This technology with its unique low carbon footprint sandstone material opens up endless possibilities for marine habitat construction and satisfies our goal to build beautiful reefs.

The key advantages of this 3D printing technology are:

  • We can achieve a very 'organic' appearance, and produce far greater complexity, caves and tunnels compared to traditional moulding techniques - this can translate to greater biodiversity and biomass. Excellent for rebuilding destroyed reefs or creating new ones. Such designs show far greater respect for our marine environment than cubes, pyramids etc.
  • Every unit made can have different features than the others without the need for different moulds, therefore increasing the diversity of habitat and richness of species on the reef.
  • The material does not produce the greenhouse gas emissions that concrete does in its manufacture and transport.
  • We believe this technology can play an important role in climate change adaption of low lying islands by cost effectively rebuilding their barrier reefs and thus reducing coastal erosion. Our goal is to partner with appropriate companies and funders to provide a mobile 3D printing barge that can travel from island to island, use local sand, and produce reef units that are deployed to rebuild the islands natural defence against sea level rise. Added bonus would be increased fishery production and snorkeling or diving reef.

Give us a call or email if you are interested.

Listen to BBC UK natural history program interview with RDL David Lennon discussing the future of 3D printing (starts at 6:17)

Services we provide: full design of reef units including 3D files and renders, supervision of production, assistance with site selection, deployment management, monitoring.


Scuba Diving Habitat 

There is increasing awareness and interest around the world regarding the environmental and economic value of purpose built reefs for scuba diving. We can design for you world class attractions that will be an international draw-card for divers.

We understand the diving industry from our years as diving instructors and we understand reefs from our years building and designing them. We have have certainly built many diving reefs from sunken ships, materials of opportunity and traditional concrete reef units however we are now taking this to a whole new level.

We can design scuba habitats that function as underwater playgrounds for marine life as well as divers. They can be dive trails that tell a story or creative renditions of traditional buildings or features that attract specific animals of interest. The possibilities are endless.



Sea Wall Enhancement 

Sea wall enhancement is an opportunity that is being totally missed. Increasing the complexity of your sea walls with our specifically designed units increases the commercial and environmental value of your structure by improving recreational fishing opportunities and providing habitat for maintaining biodiversity and water improving shellfish.

Strategic lighting on the walls can be used to create a unique and diverse visual landscape.

Our living sea wall structures can also help to disperse wave energy therefore minimising reflective waves within marinas and coastal developments.

We are very excited to launch this new range!!

We can design and supply custom fitted units to suit existing sea walls or future sea wall development projects.

We recommend the addition of our Easy Drop and other units to the toe and further out from the wall to maximise opportunities for nature.


Custom Design 

Our key message here is 'anything is possible'.

The reef units and designs shown on this site are just a sample.

We love a challenge, we love research projects, and we love the opportunity to create custom reefs - therefore do not hesitate to contact us if you have a specific request or do not see a reef unit that quite matches your needs.

Contact us now.



Modular Assembly 

Our modular assembly reefs include the multi award winning MARS product, recently voted by Popular Science magazine as one of the top 10 inventions of 2015.

We are currently developing multiple reef systems that can be built underwater minimising deployment costs and maximising stability and versatility. These modules can be designed to provide a range of benefits or species specific habitat. The dimples on this MARS unit have been included to facilitate attachment of coral frags.

We can't do this alone and welcome enquiries about partnerships and investment.


Easy Drop Units

Our revolutionary 'easy drop' range covers a variety of reef unit products that are designed specifically for:

  • Quick installation and deployment without cranes and cables - simply drop or push them over the side to create complex piles or single layers of habitat
  • Easy manufacture
  • Low cost
  • Long lifespan and non-toxic; and
  • Like all of our products, to create maximum diversity and opportunity for marine organisms to thrive.  

They eliminate the need for slow and costly barge deployments, look natural and add maximum complexity for benthic species which maximises the diversity and productivity of your reef.

Ideal for restoration and stabilisation of coral rubble fields, restoration of shellfish habitat, enhancement of larger traditional concrete and steel artificial reef units (eg. enhancement of internal voids neighbouring substrate), enhancement of seawalls, and creation of 'living shorelines' for erosion control in estuaries and rivers.


Hanging Reefs

Hanging reefs provide a unique opportunity to create habitat underneath already existing marine based infrastructure such as jetties, pontoons (eg. ideal for fish friendly marina certification), piers, floating hotels, artificial reefs and even shipwrecks.  You can position them easily and quickly at a range of different depths to cater for different species including corals. And they can be strategically lit using surface or underwater lights to create artistic living sculptures around waterfront developments.

The hanging units come in a wide range of styles and are made from multiple individual sections or plates so that you can vary their size and complexity to suit your application.

They can be hung vertical, horizontal or at angles and even attached to pilings and other structures.

The photos here are just one small example of the variations possible. Contact us for more details or for specific design requests. Contact us.

Floating Reefs 

Floating reefs provide habitat opportunity when bottom placement and hanging placement is not an option or they can be used to add diversity to traditional artificial reefs or hanging reefs. Ideal for high mobile sand seabeds and creation of midwater reefs to attract pelagics or underwater 'forests' for scuba diving. 

We have designed specific units that have an integrated changeable buoyancy  system and as with hanging reefs, we have a wide range of different styles depending upon the application and target species.

The floating reef systems are anchored to the seabed and can be moved depending on management requirements. 

 

 

 


Easy Drop Units

Our revolutionary 'easy drop' range covers a variety of reef unit products that are designed specifically for:

  • Quick installation and deployment without cranes and cables - simply drop or push them over the side to create complex piles or single layers of habitat
  • Easy manufacture
  • Low cost
  • Long lifespan and non-toxic; and
  • Like all of our products, to create maximum diversity and opportunity for marine organisms to thrive.  

They eliminate the need for slow and costly barge deployments, look natural and add maximum complexity for benthic species which maximises the diversity and productivity of your reef.

Ideal for restoration and stabilisation of coral rubble fields, restoration of shellfish habitat, enhancement of larger traditional concrete and steel artificial reef units (eg. enhancement of internal voids neighbouring substrate), enhancment of seawalls, and creation of 'living shorelines' for erosion control in estuaries and rivers.