3D Printed Barnacles — CyBe Construction Skip to main content

3D Printed Barnacles

These 3D printed barnacles create a rockpool effect, providing microhabitats that form a home for many sea creatures.

Project details

  • Our jobPartner, tools supply
  • TypeCyBe RC (Robot Crawler), off-site
  • Parcel size<2 sqm
  • Printing time5 minutes each
  • Start of project2024

These 3D concrete printed limpets and barnacles are created by our partner QOROX for the New Zealand-based Eke Panuku. Their goal is to improve our ocean’s well-being by creating a rockpool effect, which mimics coral reefs in their function of providing microhabitats sea life.

Saving our oceans

The challenge

Our oceans are facing many threats, such as declining water quality, rising sea levels, and decreasing biodiversity. In a collaborative effort with Auckland-based developer Eke Panuku, our partner QOROX has made plans to develop 3D concrete printed limpets and barnacles. These elements needed to be suitable for placement in the water, as they were intended to provide shelter and food for marine life. The task of maximizing the effectiveness of these barnacles included the challenge of creating a curvy, nature-like design that would be suitable for ocean flora and fauna to find a home in.

3d printed barnacles
3D printed barnacles
Nature-like design

The design

Normally, man-made barnacles are not purpose-built and have a standard form. However, 3D concrete printing allows the marine modules to have unique sizes and shapes optimized for improving biodiversity. The barnacles are designed with a curvy structure, resembling shapes naturally found in the ocean, similar to artificial reef. Their design and rough texture create an ideal source of shelter for marine life, enabling oceanic flora and fauna to thrive.

Printed to perfection

The takeaways

3D concrete printing proved to be the perfect construction method for barnacles designed to improve ocean biodiversity. The technique’s creative freedom enabled the creation of specific shapes and sizes optimized for marine animals. Additionally, the material serves as an exceptional base for flora to attach to, creating a habitat filled with shelter and nutrition for oceanic biodiversity. The barnacles were printed in under 5 minutes without the need for expensive molds, reducing emissions and further benefiting from the efficiency of 3D concrete printing. Besides the advantages for ocean wellbeing, the elements were printed more affordably, faster, and more sustainably.

3d printed barnacles
The CyBe RC
Versatile & Efficient

The CyBe RC

The barnacles were printed with our CyBe RC (Robot Crawler). This mobile 3D printer, leveraging its caterpillar tracks, can transport to virtually any location in any terrain. This way, it can be used for efficient on-site and off-site printing by easily moving your printer around your print site. With its superior print speed and performance, high-quality print strength and adhesion, and exceptional range, the CyBe RC is among the most efficient 3D concrete printers in the world.

Learn more about the CyBe RC!