8 Oct 2021
New hybrid 3D printing technique will add a fourth dimension to additive manufacturing
A new chemical process for additive manufacturing suggests exciting possibilities for 4D printed components – such as properties that change over time.
Researchers from the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering have developed a hybrid method called Material Treatment Extrusion Additive Manufacturing (MaTrEx-AM), which uses acetone to toughen targeted layers of 3D printed parts and structures.
Varying how much acetone is applied and where it is used allows manufacturers to create items with novel mechanical properties, such controlling how parts deform.
The ability to create these time-dependent gives the printing process a 4D aspect.
Real-world applications include 4D lattices for helmet padding to avoid impact injuries and for biomedical implants.