NEW IN 3D Laser Scanning Services: CREATING LIFELIKE AQUATIC ARTIFICIAL HABITATS
Researchers have introduced a new way of making lifelike aquatic habitats that may help scientists to understand and rehabilitate polluted world environments. Aneri Garg came up with the 3D laser scanning services project dubbed 3D scanning, printing, molding, and scanning (3D-SPMC).
The 3D-SPMC project involves coral reefs. According to Garg, studying living habitats that often attract and retain varying organisms is an integral aspect of researching ecological habitats and could help with restoration planning.
With the help of 3D laser scanning services, Garg and her team, under the supervision of Stephanie Green, created replica 3D artificial habitats. These habitats resembled real-life underwater organisms. This allowed them to study the behavior of aquatic animals like fish and other organisms.
Garg asserts that 3D scanning services with projects like 3D-SPMC can be used for various purposes, such as restoration planning for underwater environments. The varying restoration stages can be devised to match specific needs.
An Interdisciplinary Technique
To develop 3D-SPMC, Garg reviewed the current 3D scanning services used to create such artificial habitats. She considered the specific methods and materials used and the existing challenges. After that, she devised an integrative method with key metrics, including scalability, accessibility, and ecological considerations.
Her goal was to create approximately 400 coral reefs using 3D scanning services for the project. She wanted the artificial reefs to be as real as possible as this would help collect accurate data on how living organisms underwater interacted with them. Plus, she wanted to avoid introducing plastic to underwater environments.
Garg started using 3D laser scanning services to get the specific aspects of coral skeletons. She then brought the scanned data into life using a 3D printer. She only made a few tweaks to the structure to help hasten the printing process and simplify molding.
Garg then poured some form of silicone on the prepared 3D-printed shapes to create molds.
Testing the 3D Laser Scanning Services Method in the Ocean
To test the effectiveness of the 3D-SPMC method, Garg and her team planted the molds in the ocean. Garg cited that coral restoration is similar to tree planting and that they only needed to grow some baby corals in the nursery before moving them to where they wanted to plant them.
In her future projects, Garg strives to assess the impact of varying percentages of living and man-made coral reefs in habitat patches and discern if a specific area makes a difference in biodiversity organisms living around coral reefs.