Researchers 3D Print Damage-Resistant Materials Based on Nanostructures of Deer Antlers

Researchers have observed deer antler structures on a nanoscale level to discover the mechanisms responsible for their durability. Deer antlers intermittently arranged set of fibres seem to have evolved to take a hit, partnered with a breakable, shock-absorbing substance made up of non-collagenous proteins and minerals in between. The team says this new understanding of deer antlers could also shed new light on the structural modelling of bone. But the immediate focus is to use the knowledge to work towards a new generation of damage-resistant materials that can be produced through 3D-printing. “Our next step is to create a 3D printed model with fibres arranged in staggered configuration and linked by an elastic interface,” says Barbieri. “The aim is to prove that additive manufacturing – where a prototype can be created a layer at a time – can be used to create damage-resistant composite materials.”