Researchers from the Department of Applied Mechanics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel have succeeded in building metal parts that automatically indicate when they are overloaded or are causing damage. To do this, they used metal 3D printing to integrate sensors into the metal itself.
“The development of the integrated solution for damage detection and load measurement in 3D-printed metal parts is pioneering work. 3D printing makes it possible to work on the inside of a part and integrate functions into it. Until now, this has not been possible with traditional production techniques,” says Dr Michaël Hinderdael, a postdoctoral researcher in applied mechanics.