June 7, 2014 10:37 AM Subscribe
Lockheed Martin is in a race with SpaceX who recently made a big splash with 3D printed spacecraft parts. Lockheed shows its vision (video) for a next generation 3D printer, capable of printing not just parts but an entire plane as a print-job (c.f. previously war robots). This technology may perhaps combine with a new class of fractal nano supermaterials, which are stronger than steel but nearly as light as air, the promise to create mass produced ultra-light vehicles, aircraft and other things.
But what if you could build an electric car so light that you could (if you were so inclined) lift it with your hands, with a range in the thousands of miles, and that was still as structurally strong as a normal car? Or what if you could build a bridge using only one percent of the materials that would normally be required? According to Julia Greer, professor of materials science and mechanics at Caltech, the technology that would allow us to do that might soon be within our reach.
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