New 4D Printing Technology

4D material specialists from Singapore University of Technology and Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Technological Institute in Georgia developed a new methods of 4D-printing which allows to manufacture different objects from materials with shape memory.  

As N+1 informs, the technology uses such property of photosensitive materials as their consolidation with the help of projector’s light (developers called this method “projective microstereolithography”). Besides, scientists have already defined the technique as 4D-printing because in fact, a printer is able not only to reproduce different shapes of objects, scientists can preset material’s “behavior”: it can restore its shape after deformation.

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During the experiments, researchers filled the printer’s containers with a solution of photosensitive polymer and layer by layer projected the sections of a necessary object. Every new layer consolidated on the previous one, as a result they got a 3D-object. In such a way, material specialists created a soft polymer manipulator, able to catch little objects, for example, screws.

During the experiment, scientists approached an opened manipulator holding a screw, heating the air up to 40 degrees Celsius, in a few seconds the manipulator drew the screw.

According to the developers of the technology, it can be applied in different branches of medicine. For instance, medical workers will be able to manufacture special capsules with febrifuges that will blow up only in case of body temperature rise. However, to fulfill this idea developers still have to find materials with lower temperature of shape restoring.

Scientists from Wollongong University in Australia also presented a similar technology last year in April.

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