Living Sea Sculpture's Innovations in Coral Reef Designs & Conservation

Living Sea Sculpture continues to research and innovate art, science, and technology for coral reef restoration.

Our Latest Instagram Posts:

3D Rendering of Coral Species & Reef Designs

We are currently working on creating 3D renderings of dozens of coral species to use in the design and modeling of new artistic artificial coral reefs for coral restoration around the world. 

These coral skeletons are part of Dr. Donald Potts’ impressive collection at UCSC from the Potts Lab and his years of coral research.

Colleen captured these photos while obsessively observing their delicate, rigid beauty fabricated over years by tiny animals secreting calcium carbonate.

James Tunick of @theimclab is bringing these intricate structures into the digital space by running Colleen’s hand-held iPhone videos through his #3Dskan software and getting amazing results.

"I absolutely love spending time up close photographing and videoing them to get to know and feel what they are made of. And I mean that not only literally but in the personal way when you are close to a fabulous work of art or architecture that only nature can create."

Colleen Flanigan

Coral Skeletons

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3D Scans

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OBJ & PLY generated by 3Dskan software developed by James Tunic, The IMC Lab, using photogrammetry in processing hand-held iPhone video by Colleen Flanigan of coral skeletons from the collection of Dr. Donald Potts, UCSC

Contact for James Tunick, The IMC Lab:

3D Renderings of Zoe - A Living Sea Sculpture Structure

Ginormous thanks to @theimclab for creating a .obj of @zoelivingseasculpture. From there, more galactic thanks to @oskar.elek from UCSC’s Computational Media Creative Coding Lab who ran it through his Polyphorm software developed to analyze intergalactic gas and dark matter filaments (together known as ‘Cosmic web’). Polyphorm uses the Monte Carlo Physarum Machine (MCPM) algorithm inspired by the foraging behavior of Physarum polycephalum ‘slime mold’.

We’re exploring new concepts, materials, simulations, and fabrication for next reFORMed reefs.

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Video Renderings of Zoe - A Living Sea Sculpture Structure

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Play Video about 3Dskans of Zoe – A Living Sea Sculpture

Oskar Elek ran his custom Polyphorm software on 3Dskans of Zoe – A Living Sea Sculpture

3D printed coral-red polyphorm cube
3D printed coral-red polyphorm cube
3D Printed Coral Red
Section of 3D printed coral-red polyphorm cube
Prusa 3D printer Program for coral printing
Preparing coral for printing in Slicer software
Colleen's 3D Printer for coral and reef design modeling
3D Prusa printer thanks to Patreon member support
Oskar showing Colleen how to use the Prusa 3D printer.
Cross-section of Polyphorm before printing
Oskar showing Colleen how to use the Prusa 3D printer.
Processing and editing for 3D printing

Biopolymer Testing for Coral Framentation Planting

The latest biopolymer experiments with coral fragmentation planting on Zoe. 

biopolymer experiment with lettuce leaf corals Living Sea Sculpture
biopolymer disc trials for coral fragmentation planting Living Sea Sculpture
coral planting biopolymer trials
biopolymer testing for coral anchoring to artificial reef Living Sea Sculpture
biopolymer anchor and attachement for coral fragments
biopolymer coral fragment anchor breakage

YOUMARES 2021 Presentation