The 4D printing concept allows materials to “self-assemble” into 3D structures
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have successfully added a fourth dimension to their printing technology, opening up exciting possibilities for the creation and use of adaptive, composite materials in manufacturing, packaging and biomedical applications.
A team led by H. Jerry Qi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at CU-Boulder, and his collaborator Martin L. Dunn of the Singapore University of Technology and Design has developed and tested a method for 4D printing. The researchers incorporated “shape memory” polymer fibers into the composite materials used in traditional 3D printing, which results in the production of an object fixed in one shape that can later be changed to take on a new shape.
“In this work, the initial configuration is created by 3D printing, and then the programmed action of the shape memory fibers creates time dependence of the configuration – the 4D aspect,” said Dunn, a former CU-Boulder mechanical engineering faculty member who has studied the mechanics and physics of composite materials for more two decades.
The 4D printing concept, which allows materials to “self-assemble” into 3D structures, was initially proposed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty member Skylar Tibbits in April of this year. Tibbits and his team combined a strand of plastic with a layer made out of “smart” material that could self-assemble in water.
“We advanced this concept by creating composite materials that can morph into several different, complicated shapes based on a different physical mechanism,” said Dunn. “The secret of using shape memory polymer fibers to generate desired shape changes of the composite material is how the architecture of the fibers is designed, including their location, orientation and other factors.”
The CU-Boulder team’s findings were published last month in the journal Applied Physics Letters. The paper was co-authored by Qi “Kevin” Ge, who joined MIT as a postdoctoral research associate in September.
“The fascinating thing is that these shapes are defined during the design stage, which was not achievable a few years ago,” said Qi.
The CU-Boulder team demonstrated that the orientation and location of the fibers within the composite determines the degree of shape memory effects like folding, curling, stretching or twisting. The researchers also showed the ability to control those effects by heating or cooling the composite material.
Qi says 3D printing technology, which has existed for about three decades, has only recently advanced to the point that active fibers can be incorporated into the composites so their behavior can be predictably controlled when the object is subjected to thermal and mechanical forces.
The technology promises exciting new possibilities for a variety of applications. Qi said that a solar panel or similar product could be produced in a flat configuration onto which functional devices can be easily installed. It could then be changed to a compact shape for packing and shipping. After arriving at its destination, the product could be activated to form a different shape that optimizes its function.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- 4D Printing Market Analysis by Drivers, Segmentation, Application and Forecast to 2027on July 2, 2021 at 9:06 am
Jul 02, 2021 (Market Insight Reports) -- Latest Study on Industrial Growth of Global 4D Printing Market 2021-2027. A detailed study accumulated to offer Latest insights about acute features of the ...
- 4D Printing Gets Boost With New Polymer, Processon June 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm
4D printing takes 3D printing a step further to create objects that can move or reconfigure themselves on demand once fabricated. While it is still in its nascent stages, researchers at Rice ...
- COVID-19 Impact on 4D Printing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2021-2027on June 25, 2021 at 4:57 am
The Global 4D Printing Market size is expected to grow at an annual average of 42.3% during 2021-2027. In this market study, the 4D printing market is defined as a technology in which the fourth ...
- 4d Printing Market Size, Trends, Companies, Driver, Segmentation, Forecast to 2028on June 24, 2021 at 10:00 pm
Selbyville, Delaware According to the report titled 'GLOBAL 4d Printing Market 2019-2028', available with Market Study Report LLC, global 4D printing market is anticipated to register a y-o-y growth ...
- Breakthrough technology makes ‘living’ polymerization compatible with 3D printingon June 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The new process also enables 4D printing, by which the 3D-printed object can change shape or its chemical and physical properties can be altered to adapt to its environment. Advancing the recycling ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- RUDN University chemists create substances for supramolecules' self-assemblyon June 28, 2021 at 9:00 pm
RUDN University chemists derived molecules that can assemble into complex structures using chlorine and bromine halogen atoms. They bind to each other as 'velcro' -- chlorine 'sticks' to bromine, and ...
- Tumor Cell-Specific Split Aptamers: Target-Driven and Temperature-Controlled Self-Assembly on Living Cell Surfaceon June 25, 2021 at 2:13 pm
Activatable split aptamer probe with target-induced shape change and thermosensitivity was first developed. Triggered by proteins on cell surface, the probe could assemble into a desired binding shape ...
- Researchers fabricate bio-friendly X-ray detectors based on metal-free perovskite single crystalson June 25, 2021 at 7:35 am
Metal-free halide perovskites are novel candidates for ferroelectrics and X-ray detection. However, the molecular self-assembly of these perovskites and its influence remain unexplored.
- Self-assembly of stimuli-responsive coiled-coil fibrous hydrogelson June 22, 2021 at 6:37 am
More information: Michael Meleties et al, Self-assembly of stimuli-responsive coiled-coil fibrous hydrogels, Soft Matter (2021). DOI: 10.1039/D1SM00780G Journal information: Soft Matter ...
- Blue Animals Are Different From All the Reston June 21, 2021 at 8:40 pm
New work continues to reveal those secrets, which often depend on the fantastically precise self-assembly of minuscule features in and on the feathers, scales, hair, and skin—a fact that makes ...