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From 3D to 4D printing – design, material and fabrication for multi-functional multi-materials


In the era of multi-dimensional digital printing technology, engineering by multilayered ‘top-down’ methodologies are redefining manufacturing processes at multi-scale levels with atomic precision permitting unprecedented freedom to design complex structures at will. This challenges the current perception of conventional machining processes for unconventional materials (e.g. smart-stimuli responsive materials) that pose limitations in closing the gap between manufacturing processes and the increasing demand for rapid assembly procedures, miniaturized and cost-effective products predicted for emerging industries supplying innovative products to a rising population of end users. Driven by a growing need for customization, printing technologies are dynamically changing to meet the demands of a global market. Here, the conceptualization of 4D printing (4DP) platform and its impact on manufacturing scales and processes are discussed. Further, a ‘new’ conceptual insight into 4DP, high precision material design and the ‘envisioned’ roadmap for 4DP manufacturing is proposed.

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Correspondence to Sung-Hoon Ahn or Won-Shik Chu.

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Khare, V., Sonkaria, S., Lee, GY. et al. From 3D to 4D printing – design, material and fabrication for multi-functional multi-materials. Int. J. of Precis. Eng. and Manuf.-Green Tech. 4, 291–299 (2017).

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  • 3D printing
  • 4D printing
  • Geometry
  • Shape responsive material
  • Smart material