1Print to Commercialize 3D Printed Coastal Resilience Solutions


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1Print, a company that specializes in deploying additive construction (AC) for infrastructure projects, has entered an agreement with the University of Miami (UM) to accelerate commercialization of the SEAHIVE shoreline protection system. Via the agreement, 1Print will hold the exclusive license for manufacturing and distributing 3D Printed SEAHIVE® systems globally.

Researchers at UM’s College of Engineering began developing the SEAHIVE concept as in 2018 as part of the University Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge (U-LINK) project. Thanks to a series of grants, including money from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to supplement the adjacent XReef project, and 1Print’s award from the US Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, 1Print was able to collaborate with UM to scale up the project.

Starting in March 2023, UM initiated a SEAHIVE pilot program, installing clusters of the 2500-lb. hexagonal, perforated concrete tubes 1,000 feet offshore of Miami Beach’s North Beach Oceanside Park. UM followed that up in August 2023 with a project in Wahoo Bay/Shipwreck Park, this time stacking the tubes right next to the shoreline.

The agreement between UM and 1Print creates the potential for SEAHIVE technology to make its way into coastal communities all over the world. Moreover, as 1Print is a member of the South Florida ClimateReady Tech Hub, commercialization of the tech could give the Department of Commerce-designated consortium a significant edge, in its effort to receive as much as $70 million in Phase II funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

In a press release about the SEAHIVE commercialization agreement between 1Print and UM, Francesca de Quesada Covey, Miami-Dade County’s Regional Innovation Officer and Chair of the ClimateReady Tech Hub’s Steering Committee, said, “This partnership signifies a notable advancement in our endeavors toward sustainable climate technologies. Together, we are effectively transforming hope into measurable outcomes, underscoring the power of collective action and innovation in shaping a more sustainable and equitable future.”

1Print’s co-founder, Adam Friedman, said, “The project in Okaloosa County serves as the proof of concept on a larger scale, further validating the potential of SEAHIVE technology as a solution for protecting national security infrastructure and coastal communities across the United States and world, while creating habitat. We are ready to scale the SEAHIVE technology, our PrintCast 3D concrete printing processes, and the 3D printers and suppliers that we are able to provide to partners regionally and internationally.”

This is exactly the kind of project I love because it doesn’t just get a new product off the ground, but equally, helps catalyze a new kind of business model. 1Print isn’t the first company to try to establish itself as essentially a contract manufacturer for concrete printing, and 1Print still has a division focused on printing for residential homes. (1Print is open to talks with qualified companies and/or individuals for joint ventures and franchising their IP.)

1Print’s leveraging AC techniques specifically for contract manufacturing of infrastructure components, however, seems like an especially promising niche to go after. Additionally, focusing on as worthwhile an objective as coastal resilience puts the right kind of spotlight on the technologies involved, and provides a significant real-world example to anyone looking for tangible ways to make a positive social impact in a commercially-viable way. Finally, it demonstrates how crucial collaborations between academia, government, and private industry are in building up new technological capabilities.

Images courtesy of University of Miami

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