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How Lobsters Can Help Make Stronger 3D-Printed Concrete

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A live lobster.

Patterns inspired by the shells of lobsters can make three-dimensionally printed concrete stronger.

Credit: FreshDirect

Special three-dimensional (3D) printing patterns designed by researchers at Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) were inspired by lobster shells.

The bio-mimicking spiral patterns enhanced the 3D-printed concrete's durability, while also precisely guiding strength for structural support where needed.

By blending the patterns with a specialized concrete mix augmented with steel fibers, the end material was stronger than traditionally manufactured concrete.

RMIT's Jonathan Tran said, "As lobster shells are naturally strong and naturally curved, we knew this could help us deliver stronger concrete shapes like arches and flowing or twisted structures."

The RMIT team will use the robotic printer to explore printing of houses, buildings, and large structural elements.

From Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia)
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