Researchers have developed a method, which helps them to print physical samples of artificial bones in just a few hours.
Associate professor Markus Buehler of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, and co-authors used computer-optimized designs of soft and stiff
polymers placed in geometric patterns that replicate nature’s own patterns, and a 3-D printer that prints with two polymers at once.
The team produced samples of synthetic materials that have fracture behaviour similar to bone and one of the synthetics is 22 times more fracture-resistant than its strongest constituent material, a feat achieved by altering its hierarchical design.
Buehler said that the geometric patterns they used in the synthetic materials are based on those seen in natural materials like bone or nacre, but also include new designs that do not exist in nature.