Researchers mimic bone to 3D print fracture-resistant material

The 3D printed bone-like substance may someday be used in lightweight building materials as well as for artificial bones.

The 3D printer produced a sheet of polymer about half the size of a piece of paper and one-eighth inch thick. Hard polymer formed the hard bricks of mineral while soft polymer worked as flexible collagen mortar. The material was as tough as bone and more than 20 times stronger than printed polymers that resembled just collagen or mineral.