Fractal structures for superior efficiency
Fractal structures, like the branching bronchioli in the lung or the twisting suture of extinct ammonites, are not only beautiful, but also highly functional. We recently demonstrated that it is possible to design and manufacture fractal space-frames which show a new, superior scaling relation between strength and weight. However, this is only the first step on a journey into new possibilities.
Building on our successful 3D-printing of fractal space-frames, we will construct new fractal forms, such as self-similar helical shells, which are just as strong but more resilient. Mechanical strength is not the only possibility we want to explore. We believe that highly efficient heat-exchangers can be made, analogous in their operation to lungs and gills found in nature.
One of the main goals of technology is high efficiency: doing less with more. Mechanically efficient fractal structures make possible ultra-light hulls for manned aerospace and drones. Thermally efficient fractal structures could drive superior passive heat exchangers for homes and business. The result is reduced fuel consumption and lower costs for transport and climate control.