Lab Spotlight

Unlocking Potential for Ultra-Lightweight and Flexible 3D-Printed Metallic Materials

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Engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have achieved unprecedented scalability in 3D-printed architectures of arbitrary geometry, opening the door to super-strong, ultra-lightweight and flexible metallic materials for aerospace, the military, and the automotive industry applications.

In Nature Materials, lab researchers report 3D printing fractal-like lattices with features ranging from the nanometer to centimeter scale to build a nickel-plated metamaterial with a high elasticity not found in any previously built metal foams or lattices. The lattices were printed out of polymer, using a one-of-a-kind Large Area Projection Micro-Stereolithography (LAPuSL) invented by LLNL engineer Bryan Moran. Moran won a 2015 R&D 100 Award for the design.

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