At MRF, we dabble in a bit, admittedly. However what gets us out of bed every morning is the prospect of growing shellfish in our backyard.
MRF works cooperatively with the University of Maine, the Maine Technology Institute, and the federal Department of Energy to advance the prospects of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing and how it can be used in a variety of industries. In MRF's case, we printed a device we're calling an Oyster Pod out of Techmer PLA and wood flour (lumber scraps). The Pod s can be stacked over one large tank, enabling us to experiment with upland, vertical aquaculture, miles from the ocean. Our product will grow shellfish in a fraction of the time it takes to grow shellfish on a traditional aquaculture lease in the ocean. Our business model relies on partnerships with small aquaculture farmers - as opposed to being in competition with them, we will serve as a reliable hub for product supply.
Our technology eliminates the need for a flow-through seawater system and limits other product-inhibiting factors such as harmful algal blooms (think, Red Tide), acidity, fluctuating (and rising) seawater temperatures, and most poignantly for Maine, conflicts with other ocean uses/adjacent home owners.