Translating Thought to Print with Bio-Inspired Synthetic Spider Webs
Over the years MIT research has explored the mysteries of spider silk, all in the effort to design synthetic resources that mimic its extraordinary properties. Until recently, understanding of the properties has been largely limited to individual silk fibers. Now, in a paper published in Nature Communications, a CEE team relayed its systematic approach to researching the silk’s structure – blending computational modeling and mechanical analysis to 3D-print synthetic spider webs. “This is the first methodical exploration of its kind,” says Professor Markus Buehler, CEE department head and the study’s lead author. “We are looking to expand our knowledge of the function of natural webs in a systematic and repeatable manner, which may lead to new designs for lightweight structures.” For the story, please see here. For a LinkedIn article by Buehler, please see here.