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Top Story

Mimicking nature’s cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being compressed. The plant’s hardiness comes from a combination of its hollow, tubular macrostructure and porous, or cellular, microstructure. These architectural features work together to give grass its robust mechanical properties. Inspired by natural cellular structures, National Science Foundation-funded researchers have developed a new method to 3-D print materials with independently tunable, macro-and microscale porosity using a ceramic foam ink. Their approach could be used to fabricate lightweight structural materials, thermal insulation or tissue scaffolds.

Visit Website | Image credit: James Weaver/Wyss Institute