NBC News Miami

NBC Miami


South Florida startup hopes to help combat climate change with a 3D printer. Here's how

A 120-foot project is being installed on Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach at the end of the month.
A South Florida startup company by the name of Kind Designs is helping to combat climate change one 3D-printed seawall at a time. A 120-foot project is being installed on Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach at the end of the month. Anya Freeman, CEO and founder of Kind Designs, said that it takes about an hour to print a seawall panel, 10 feet high. “Conventionally, this would take a whole day, 24 hours, to create these panels with molds," she said. Codes for seawalls have been adjusted within the last few years, meaning old sea walls are now having to be replaced to meet the new standards. “So not only does it meet building code, and protect communities from flooding, but now it’s also a marine habitat,” Freeman said. Living sea walls minimize the disruption to marine life while also increasing biodiversity. This is extremely important to keep the ecosystem strong.

“The design (...) actually mimics mangrove roots which is a natural habitat for sea life,” Freeman explained. “So it attracts a lot of sea life, the bigger sea life to hide in the caves and the smaller organisms to attach to the special texture of the seawall that you see and when they attach, they deposit their skeletons to the wall, and the skeleton sequesters carbon, just through very basic biocalcification.” Plus, the materials that are used are safer for the environment, too, without having to recreate the system for installation. “It’s the same material fundamentally, which is concrete but ours is nontoxic," Freeman said. "There’s no chloride, there’s no metals, it doesn’t leech. Our seawalls also have the exact same installation process as a traditional seawall." Miami Beach will be the first one to utilize this design in a public space, and the goal of Kind Designs is to take this design worldwide.

Scroll to Top