3D printing has done amazing things for the world of plastics. The new technology has done everything from let the basic consumer make their own toys, to let engineers print replacement limbs for amputees for less than 100 dollars. Now, the company Modumetal has created what could be the equivalent for metal.
The new, energy efficient technique is called nanolamination and it creates a material “that grows in a manner akin to the way rings are formed on trees.”
The resulting metal is actually even more durable than most conventional metals.
Physicist Christina Lomasney, launched the company in 2007 after leaving Boeing and describes the process as being like a metal version of plywood, but with really thin layers. Then, like rings on a tree, more layers grow on to the previous layers with the assistance of an electrical current.
The metal can be “grown” on top of any base shape, to create seamless metals for all manner of applications.