Research, funded in part by the Danish Council for Independent Research Technology and Production Sciences, takes inspiration from oyster and abalone shells for stronger materials. A combination of algorithm-based design and multilateral 3D printing is used to discover what makes iridescent mother of pearl “ca. 3000 times greater than that of its main mineral building block.”
In the paper, researchers create a four-part framework to better understand the stacked “brick-and-mortar” structure of mother of pearl, also known as nacre. The framework is a looped process, with each stage informing the next for continued development of material that matches nature.