Thank you for this informative article on a topic I didn't know much about, Thomas. As someone who did not do so well in chemistry and physics at school, it's fascinating to ponder materials science and learn about all the forms a different metal can take and those various uses.
Thomas, you mention that porous metals can be made with a wide variety of metalurgical properties. How strong can they be made, in terms of flexure and elastic properties? Are there some high-strength applications?
Can these materials be used for implants and/or replacements? I was not aware of the dangers of infection in joint replacements until my brother had to have both knees redone due to infection. Could porous metals allow for blood flow thereby allowing your own bodies defense mechanisms help ward off infection. Also will the surrounding tissues be able to adhere.
I wonder if instead of using porous metals that something such as cement or ceramics could be substituted on a much larger scale using 3D printing. This would not only make it cost effective for medical professionals but also help reduce the over mining of rare-earth metals.
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
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