Researchers use nano 3D printing to investigate peacock spider's impressive rainbow display | 1/1/2018 | Staff
idkwatitisidkwatitis (Posted by) Level 3

The study of the natural world is something that 3D technology has helped to advance significantly in the last few years, as the accuracy of scanning and 3D printing methods enable scientists to get a closer, more hands-on look at the complex and fascinating structures and patterns developed by animals and plants of all kinds. The latest breakthrough in this field concerns the Australian rainbow peacock spider. A team of researchers used 3D nano-printing to figure out exactly how it produces its multi-coloured iridescent display, and their discoveries could now be useful for various engineering applications.

The Australian peacock spider is probably the most visually striking member of the arachnid family, and the rainbow peacock spider is the most impressive species of them all. Much like the bird that the species is named after, the male rainbow peacock spider uses an eye-catching color display to attract a mate. The five-milimeter spider goes one step further than the peacock, however, as it is capable of showing a full rainbow of colors. It’s the only creature in nature known to be capable of this, and a team of researchers wanted to know exactly how it is possible.

Research - Project - Bor-Kai - Hsiung - Scholar

The research project was inter-disciplinary, led by Bor-Kai Hsiung, a postdoctoral scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. He made a start on it when he was a Ph.D. student at The University of Akron under the mentorship of Todd Blackledge and Matthew Shawkey. For his dissertation, Hsiung was studying how nature modulates iridescence, and he approached the question from the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Along with rainbow peacock spiders, he also investigated the anatomy of the non-iridescent blue tarantulas.

He went on to assemble an international team that included biologists, physicists and engineers from the University of Akron, California...
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