The vibration-absorbing lattice could one day be used in rockets. (3Dsculptor/Shutterstock/Jung-Chew Tse)

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a lattice structure capable of absorbing a wide range of vibrations while also being useful as a load-bearing component in propellers, rotors, and rockets. The three-dimensional lattice structure has a lattice spacing of around 3.5 mm, and was fabricated out of plastic using a 3D printer. Inside the lattice are steel cubes somewhat smaller than dice that act as resonators.

The structure is rigid and can also be used as a load-bearing component. In theory, it would be possible to build such a construction out of aluminum and other lightweight metals instead of plastic. The technology could also be used in vehicle and aircraft construction as well as rockets.