Scientists from the University of Southern California (USC) are using 3D printing to investigate the the potential of smart metamaterials. Adding the brick-and-mortar structure of high-strength nacre (aka mother of pearl) to electrically conductive graphene, the team have demonstrated the ability to create self-sensing armor. Proven in a small-scale experiment with a LEGO figurine, a recent paper highlights how the process could be used to monitor damage to the body. According to the study, “Such a new fabrication technique could enable the design and fabrication of the smart structures that are lightweight yet strong for various potential applications in biomedical, aerospace, transportation, sports, and military industries.” Clip demonstrates the sensing capabilities of USC’s 3D printer material. Clip via Science Advances, Supplementary Materials Electrically assisted 3D printing The USC team’s smart-armor experiment is undertaken using a custom vat polymerization 3D printer and resin. At the bottom of the vat, the […]

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