3D Printing Mimics the Natural World to Produce Super Strong, Light Micro Trusses

There’s an interesting article in Computerworld which reports on work of a team of German researchers who have used a 3D printer from Nanoscribe GmbH to create nano-scale micro structures out of ceramic and polymer which mimic the kinds of honeycomb-like structures found in nature (such as in bone and wood).

The researchers have found that using a laser-powered stereolithography technique they can create micro trusses and shells that prove to be as strong as steel. So far, these researchers have only been able to print items on the micro-meter scale, but hope to be able to someday use this technique to create super-strong materials that can be used in a practical way.

A paper on this research had been published here.

  • John King

    About 10 years ago, I have seen a similar demonstration. There was a tube about 30 or 40 inches long. One end of the tube was covered by a coarse and porous metal mesh. A small candle was lit on the floor, and the mesh end of the tube was held over the candle. After a few seconds the tube started to resonate just like your catalytic tube. The sound was a bit more variable and seemed to be influenced by the flicker of the candle flame. I assumed the effect was caused by the turbulence induced by the flow of the candle combustion gases through the metal mesh. The turbulent flow probably contained broad band acoustic energy which excited the acoustic resonant frequency of the tube. There was no exotic chemistry, only a simple candle flame. Maybe this is an explanation of your observations.

    John King 2apr2014