It gets tougher under pressure like the shells of arthropods such as lobsters and beetles. This technique could eventually contribute to more resilient structures during natural disasters. The hint is to use designs inspired by nature to control how damage spreads between the printed layers of a material
Purdue University’s engineers are 3D printing bio-inspired structures using cement paste, for the first time. 3D-printed cement-based materials would give engineers more control over design and performance, but technicalities have stood in the way of scaling them up. The exoskeletons of arthropods have crack propagation and toughening mechanisms that can be reproduced in 3D-printed cement paste.
Some of the bio-inspired cement paste elements designed and fabricated by the team using 3D printing techniques include the "honeycomb," "compliant" and "Bouligand" designs. The engineers call them "architectures."