3D printing is truly a revolutionary technology and its extra-ordinary implications are only beginning to manifest in different fields. When it comes to constructions, for instance, steel beams are considered very strong. But researchers have now shown that with 3D printing, you can create 10,000 times stronger beams.
This is how the whole thing works. You first take a hollow beam and then use software analysis to determine how the internal support of the beam can be enhanced. Based on this analysis, you devise a new design and get a 3D print of it.
Next you put some load on the modified structure, see when it fails, analyse it yet again and modify the structure using the software. Using multiple iterations, you will be able to define the internal structure of the beam to very minor details, giving you the ability to bolster the overall strength of the structure by many times.
This process was brought to light by researchers at University of Nottingham. If it could be used on a larger scale, this process will entirely change the shape of construction. These researchers claim that a 3D-printed beam created this way can be up to 10,000 times stronger as compared to steel, which is extra-ordinary.
However, the slightest failure in the design of such beams can be dangerous. So before such a process can be put to use for the creation of actual beams, it must be diligently tested and new methods must be devised to mitigate any dangers of failure.
Source: Physics World