MIT Class: a new world of mechanical engineering

December 18, 2022

A new class opens at MIT to a "new world of mechanical engineering". MIT students now can compete to develop a compression-resistant nanomaterial.

"The design challenge brought students into a lab at the world-class MIT.nano facility, an environment so delicate that all who enter must first cover themselves head to toe to try to keep out even the most minute speck of dust. Their mission was straightforward: to design the most compression-resistant microscopic cube possible with a material that would touch each side of the cube but fill only 20 percent of the total volume. The materials were fabricated using a 3D printer that shines a laser on resin to create precise, high-resolution structures. "

As MIT professor Carols Portela said: "while the design challenge was fun and exciting for the students, the process they were participating in has profound implications, Portela says. Nanomaterials can be created to have “exotic” mechanical, thermal, and even electronic properties, he says. Ceramics can be engineered to be like rubber, metals can be made stronger, and glass can become extremely durable. Nanostructures can also be made to interact with light, sound, or electrons. "

Class opens the door to a new world of mechanical engineering reported by Michaela Jarvis | Department of Mechanical Engineering
Publication Date: December 18, 2022 | MIT News Office