Keeping an eye on innovation may reside in the realm of product sourcing. New materials will shake up the landscape of housing during the next decade - offering improved strength, reduced volume, sustainable features and much more. This new material, revealed recently by MIT, offers ten times the strength of steel at only five percent of the density.

Since its discovery, graphene, a 2D layer of carbon molecules, has taken the title of the strongest material in existence. But how to turn it into a 3D material that could be used for projects like building has remained a challenge. Now MIT says they've found a way to print graphene as a porous 3D material that has five percent of the density of steel while being ten times stronger.

Creating a computer simulation of the material, the researchers were able to test different geometrical formations to find the strongest shape. In doing so, they realized that the strength had less to do with the material itself and more to do with the shape used. As you can see in the video below, one of the two plastic samples is considerably stronger due to its geometry. This means that the research is applicable beyond the realm of graphene. "You can replace the material itself with anything. The geometry is the dominant factor. It's something that has the potential to transfer to many things," says research leader Markus Buehler.

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