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LLNL researchers invent 3D printed metamaterial that stiffens with magnetic field

LLNL researchers invent 3D printed metamaterial that stiffens with magnetic field

Written by David

December 11, 2018

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers invented a new metamaterial consisting of hollow 3D printed lattice structures filled with ferrofluid that instantly stiffens when exposed to magnetic fields. This creation is exactly as cool as it sounds because its potential uses range from soft robotics and optic housing to smart armor that’s not dissimilar to Batman’s electro-stiffening “memory cloth” cape in The Dark Knight. The research team led by LLNL engineer Julie Jackson Mancini set out to create tunable metamaterials, specifically field-responsive mechanical metamaterials (FRMMs). They employed the use of the not-at-all oxymoronic Large Area Projection Microstereolithography (LAPµSL) platform that specializes in 3D printing microscale features over a large space; such technical requirements were needed to produce the thin walls of the complex tubular lattice structures necessary for their tests. After 3D printing, the lattices were injected with magnetorheological fluid, so the walls had to be strong enough to […]

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