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Uncovering nature's design strategies through parametric modeling, multi-material 3D printing, and mechanical testing

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Dean,  Mason N.
Mason Dean (Indep. Res.), Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Frølich, S., Weaver, J. C., Dean, M. N., & Birkedal, H. (2017). Uncovering nature's design strategies through parametric modeling, multi-material 3D printing, and mechanical testing. Advanced Engineering Materials, 19(6): 1600848. doi:10.1002/adem.201600848.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-A23E-3
Abstract
Nature produces a multitude of composite materials with intricate architectures that in many instances far exceed the performance of their modern engineering analogs. Despite significant investigations into structure-function relationships of complex biological materials, there is typically a lack of critical information regarding the specific functional roles of many of their components. To help resolve this issue, the authors present here a framework for investigating biological design principles that combines parametric modeling, multi-material 3D printing, and direct mechanical testing to efficiently examine very large parameter spaces of biological design. Using the brick and mortar-like architecture of mollusk nacre as a model system, the authors show that this approach can be used to effectively examine the structural complexity of biological materials and harvest design principles not previously accessible.