Plus, investing in 3D printing, bio-inspired design, the Hive relocates, and more of this week’s design-tech news from around the Internet.
By Hallie Busta
The construction industry is continually looking for new ways to make everyday building materials perform better. Researchers at the Masdar Institute in the United Arab Emirates have taken a major step forward in designing and 3D printing high-performance materials that are customized for specific applications. The team takes common materials like plastic, metal, and ceramics and alters their internal geometries to change their mechanical, thermal, and electrical behavior—for example, rendering a metal durable and light, with an airy rather than dense composition, and ductile qualities—and uses the updated materials to 3D print the resulting complex parts and components whose structures may have variations down to the nanometer scale. The work is similar to that of Julia Greer, a materials science and mechanics professor at the California Institute of Technology, who uses a process called two-photon lithography to build precise polymer nanotrusses coated in materials such as metal or ceramic that are hollowed out and stacked in fractals and that derive their strength from their form. In both cases, the researchers are unlikely to use their techniques to produce large-scale products but will rather create components, coatings, and more that work to bring nanomaterials’ signature mix of high strength, durability, and lightness to the core of building products and systems, in addition to its other applications in industries including aerospace, automobile, medical, and more. [Masdar Institute + ARCHITECT]
Read More Tech HERE >>>> Source: Architect Magazine This Week in Tech: Nanoengineering Common Building Materials