Girls in STEM

Update: Spotlight School Success

Update: Spotlight School Success

SUCCESS! Since electing Liberty Elementary School as our Spotlight School, we have come to adore the Liberty family more and more each day.  T

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Search articles, videos and updates on 3D Printing and its growing presence in our world

Girls in STEM

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

This week, we bring you a short video on a STEM'tastic educator! Scroll down to WATCH this educator doing what she does best - teachi

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Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Watching super cool EDUCATIONAL videos from across the web is one of our favorite pastimes! Join us in learning more about 3D printing in the clas

Science and Math

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the season for GINGERBREAD and working the delicious treat into your family - and CLASSROOM - fun. Last week, as students across the

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Germans create lightweight, strong material with 3D Printing

By Staff Writter

Germans create lightweight, strong material with 3D Printing

Science and Math

German scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, have used 3D printing to produce a new material that is stronger than steel but lighter than water. This development has major implications for industries where strong lightweight materials are at a premium such as aerospace.

Because there is no constraint in having to get a tool into a space to create a shape, very complex structures are possible with 3D printing. The German researchers made good use of this capability to create porous microscopic structures out of a ceramic material. Five microscopic structures of different geometries were created and tested for strength and weight. Their strongest structure withstood pressures of up to 280 MPa and had a density less than 1000kg/m3.

This makes it stronger than steel and lighter than water. This was done using a honeycomb ceramic structure to which was applied an aluminum oxide coating using atomic layer deposition to impart even more strength to the ceramic.

Solid materials are usually heavier than water unless they are porous. On the other hand, porous materials are normally weaker than solid materials. Bone and wood are exceptions to this in that they are lightweight and possess a high tensile strength. The German scientists studied the structure of wood and bone and gained insights that led them to produce the new material with similar properties.

The researchers used a Nanoscribe laser lithography printer that creates solids from a light sensitive resin to produce a material with air spaces large enough to make it lighter than water but not so large as to weaken it.

These materials are only micrometers in size and more research is required to scale the process up to a level that can be used in aerospace 3d printing. However, they do represent a new generation of materials that will revolutionize the aerospace industry.