Oyster Growers Design and Submerge 3D Printed Structures for Reef Restoration

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A collaboration between Woodbury Shellfish Company and Tethon 3D has produced an innovative structure designed to encourage oyster propagation while restoring the environment.

As ceramic 3D prints are made from naturally occurring clay, they are an ideal material to incorporate into the environment.

Oysters are a keystone species which play a critical role in maintaining a healthy environment, but 85% of the world's oyster reefs are gone because of overfishing, habitat degradation and climate change. Woodbury Shellfish and Tethon 3D have collaborated to create innovative, all natural structures for reef restoration. Designed by marine biologists Barbara and Patrick Woodbury, the 3D printed ceramic structures encourage oysters to settle, grow and survive. Preliminary results suggest that they could be used to jump start sustainable reef restoration.

Pat Woodbury of Woodbury Shellfish, noted that, “Designing in Trimble Sketchup and 3D printing in ceramics with Tethon 3D has allowed us to rapidly create very precise structures that fit our design criteria and can be tested on our shellfish beds in the bay.”

“The possibilities for restoring our environment with 3D printing are just now beginning to be explored, particularly with ceramics. As ceramics are made from naturally occurring clay, they are the ideal material to incorporate into the oceans, lakes and soil,” says Karen Linder, President and CEO of Tethon 3D. “Utilizing ceramic 3D printing allows us to create custom designs that would be difficult to mold or make by hand.”

About Woodbury Shellfish
Pat and Barbara Woodbury have been shellfish growers and purveyors to fine restaurants in Boston and New York since 1986. They also specialize in developing innovative aquaculture technology and during the last five years, have focused on oyster restoration. They have received critical acclaim for their shellfish including a nomination in 2010 for a Chef’s Collaborative Sustainability Award.

About Tethon 3D
Tethon 3D was founded in 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska. The company manufactures ceramic powders and binders for 3D printing and provides 3D printing services and education. Tethon 3D has R&D projects in materials development and 3D printing hardware and software.

Karen Linder
719 South 75th Street
Omaha, NE 68114

Patrick Woodbury
Wellfleet, MA

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Karen Linder
Tethon 3D
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since: 09/2012
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