Researchers at MIT have been working on how to make graphene, which is freakishly strong but impractically thin, into a properly-workable 3D substance. It appears they've figured it out, as you'll see in the video below, but that's not even the most interesting part:
By 3D printing—out of ordinary plastic—scaled-up models of graphene's structure, then playing with the geometry, the researchers have been creating extremely strong but lightweight structures with an outlandishly alien-looking appearance that could only be modeled on a computer.
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"You could [use] the geometry we discovered with other materials, like polymers or metals," [Professor Markus] Buehler says, to gain similar advantages of strength combined with advantages in cost, processing methods, or other material properties (such as transparency or electrical conductivity).
"You can replace the material itself with anything," Buehler says. "The geometry is the dominant factor. It's something that has the potential to transfer to many things."
Take a look:
Read more about the potential applications of these findings here.