Structural material from the Georgia Institute of Technology is made of continuously embedded microstructures that increase the material's overall strength.


  • Lightweight
  • Efficient
  • Modular


  • Building materials
  • Medical implants
  • Bridge design

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

  • Goal 12: Responsible Production & Consumption

The Challenge

Traditional building materials such as steel and concrete are often dense and heavy. Although these characteristics make buildings stronger, these attributes increase the quantity of raw materials required as well as cost.

Innovation Details

The structural materials have an optimized layout of multiple micro-structured materials. Through a topology optimization algorithm, the materials are arranged to increase structural efficiency and require fewer raw materials. During 3D-printing, the printer receives 2D-information with embedded information about the material’s microstructures, reducing the amount of processing required, saving time and money. At the end of the print cycle, the printer combines the slices, creating a continuous, 3D-structure.

Biomimicry Story

Cuttlefish have a hard, brittle internal bone structure, which consists of narrow layers of upright pillars that form chambers. Mantis shrimp have a crack-resistant club to assist in capturing prey. The club has a strong calcium-based mineral outer layer with a resilient inner layer made of mineralized fibers arranged in a spiral-pattern.