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Photo of Plate-lattices Design
Plate-lattices will be the design of choice for future lightweight porous materials (Visualizations: ETH Zurich/Marc Day)

Researchers have developed and manufactured a family of architectures that maximizes the stiffness of porous, lightweight materials. 3D printing and other additive production techniques make it possible to manufacture materials with internal structures of previously unimaginable complexity. Achieving this requires that the internal structures be intelligently organized for maximum efficiency.

The stiffness in the material’s interior is achieved through plate-lattices rather than trusses. These structures that are up to three times stiffer than truss-lattices of the same weight and volume.

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