Both at once.
Imagine a material that’s stronger than steel, but just as versatile as plastic, able to take on a seemingly endless variety of forms. For decades, materials scientists have been trying to come up with just such an ideal substance, one that could be molded into complex shapes with the same ease and low expense as plastic but without sacrificing the strength and durability of metal.
Now a team led by Jan Schroers, a materials scientist at Yale University, has shown that some recently developed bulk metallic glasses (BMGs)-metal alloys that have randomly arranged atoms as opposed to the orderly, crystalline structure found in ordinary metals-can be blow molded like plastics into complex shapes that can’t be achieved using regular metal, yet without sacrificing the strength or durability that metal affords.
If I had this stuff, I could make some really neat things with my 3-D printer, if I had a 3-D printer.
Update: Also noted by Fast Company: Metals Like Plastics: Meet the Supermaterial That Could Change Gadgets | Fast Company