3D printing Ultralight Metallic Microlattices
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 Published On Aug 12, 2020

Replicating a Science Paper: Ultralight Metallic Microlattices

A team of researchers created ultralight metallic microlattices back in 2011... and I tried to replicate their result using commercially available, off-the-shelf materials.

The authors used a special self-propagating photocurable resin, electroless nickel plating and a special solution to dissolve the resin. I have a cheap resin printer and some DIY copper/nickel electroplating baths. In this video we see if we can recreate their result, and work through the challenges of COTS materials.

I started with resin prints + copper/nickel plating, but due to gas pressure during thermal decomposition of the resin, eventually switched to PLA FDM printing. Less beautiful lattices, but more encouraging results :)

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Lattices and TPMS were generated with nTop (http://ntopology.com/)

Schaedler, Tobias A., et al. "Ultralight metallic microlattices." Science 334.6058 (2011): 962-965. (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/334/6058/962.full)

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