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This article is from the In-Depth Report World Changing Ideas 2013

Snap-Together Planes and Bridges

The composite will have to pass qualification and safety certification standards before airplanes or cars made of it roll off robotic assembly lines. Completely novel structures could be built, including planes with morphing wings and robots with flexible yet jointless arms, Cheung says. Yet the material will probably appear in other applications sooner; unmanned satellites or space probes could launch in a few years, he says.

This article was originally published with the title "Lego-like composites snap into place to make superstrong, affordable structures."

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