Toylike blocks make lightweight, strong structures | Matter & Energy | Science News: A carbon-fiber skeleton of Tinkertoy-like building blocks is 10 times as stiff as structures of similar densities. And because the framework is made of mostly identical pieces, broken parts can be easily swapped out for new ones...
Cheung played with several designs, slicing shapes out of cardboard and plywood before settling on the repeatable unit: a flat “X” of carbon-fiber composite, with a hole in the center and a loop at the end of each arm. The unit is 2 inches long, Cheung says, but could scale to virtually any size. “You can think of it as a really high-performing Lego,” he says.
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