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4D-printed materials can be stiff as wood or soft as sponge

4D-printed materials can be stiff as wood or soft as sponge

Written by David

March 22, 2019

( Nanowerk News ) Imagine smart materials that can morph from being stiff as wood to as soft as a sponge – and also change shape. Rutgers University-New Brunswick engineers have created flexible, lightweight materials with 4D printing that could lead to better shock absorption, morphing airplane or drone wings, soft robotics and tiny implantable biomedical devices. Their research is published in the journal Materials Horizons ( “4D Printing Reconfigurable, Deployable and Mechanically Tunable Metamaterials” ). 4D-printed metamaterials can be temporarily transformed into any deformed shape and then returned to their original shape on demand when heated. The scale bar is 2 millimeters. (Image: Chen Yang/Rutgers University-New Brunswick) 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, turns digital blueprints to physical objects by building them layer by layer. 4D printing is based on this technology, with one big difference: it uses special materials and sophisticated designs to print objects that […]


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