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4D printed metamaterials could be used in plane wings, biomedical devices, more

A team of engineers from Rutgers University-New Brunswick have developed 4D printable smart materials capable of changing their properties—morphing between being stiff as wood and as soft as a sponge. The innovative materials could have applications in airplane or drone wings, soft robotics, implantable biomedical devices and more. The world of 4D printing is full of exciting potential. Presently, it is mostly limited to the research sphere, as materials engineers and scientists develop new formulations capable of changing shape or form when exposed to certain temperature, light or chemical changes. Essentially, 3D printing + time (and external factor) = 4D printing. In this particular research project— published in the journal Materials Horizons— the Rutgers engineers have created a new class of printable metamaterials that can be triggered to become rigid or soft. The metamaterials have been engineered to take on properties not found in nature and can be programmed […]


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