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3D printing mimics crystal microstructures to inspire stronger materials

3D printing mimics crystal microstructures to inspire stronger materials

Written by David

January 17, 2019

3D-printed architected material deformed under heavy load (credit to Nature, 565, 305) A team of UK scientists has shown how atomic-scale strengthening mechanisms observed in metals and alloys can be exploited to make 3D printed structures more robust. Mimicking the microcrystalline structure of metallic materials offers a novel way to engineer so-called architected materials, creating lightweight 3D structures that are stronger than ones that have been fabricated until now. This research also opens an avenue for modelling and observing complex phenomena in metallurgy. In the same way as crystal structures have a lattice containing atoms and bonds, these architected materials replicate this lattice structure at a larger scale with a periodic arrangement of nodes and struts. Using this concept, 3D printing can be used to recreate a lattice structure at any scale. So far, such architected materials have only been designed to follow a simple repeated unit cell oriented […]

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