A-line 4D printing system allows you to create one-dimensional objects that take shape under the influence of heat

A-line 4D printing system allows you to create one-dimensional objects that take shape under the influence of heat

The emergence of “4D printing” – Skylar Tibbits

Engineers developed the system 4D printing for making plastic rods that may bend, fold and twist into predetermined shapes when exposed to heat.

Although technology creating objects that change shape on a 3D printer is not new, but when they can transform after penetration into a narrow hole, then open completely new application possibilities of this process.

Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University have presented the A-line technology, which makes it possible to create objects that are difficult to manufacture using three-dimensional printing (spring, tweezers). Their technique involves the creation of rods from polylactide, taking in advance «programmed» shape at an increase in temperature due to different distances between active and passive segments, their thickness and the direction of printing of each element in the structure.

The developed platform contains a library of eight bending directions, which can be combined for simple or complex geometry. She also includes a specialized design tool to simplify work user with system.

A temperature above 76 is required to start the conversion mechanism. ºC. The effect can be achieved by immersing the object in hot water, using a heat gun or steam. The main advantage is an initial convenience form that changes only in the right place and under special conditions.

A-line 4D printing system allows you to create one-dimensional objects that take shape under the influence of heat

By words developers, such rods can be use when creating poles for tents, chair frames or sculptures. By replacing polylactide with a biocompatible hydrogel sensitive to an electric field, they can will be apply in surgery.

Previously researchers also developed a technology for 3D printing of piezoelectric materials.

text: Ilya Bauer, a photo and demo: Carnegie Mellon University

A-line 4D printing system allows you to create one-dimensional objects that take shape under the influence of heat

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