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Engineering >> 2019, Volume 5, Issue 6 doi: 10.1016/j.eng.2019.09.007

Preliminary Investigation of the Reversible 4D Printing of a Dual-Layer Component

a Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
639798, Singapore
b Engineering Product Development Pillar, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore 487372, Singapore

Received:2019-01-31 Revised:2019-05-09 Accepted: 2019-05-29 Available online:2019-09-29

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The rapid development of additive manufacturing and advances in shape memory materials have fueled the progress of four-dimensional (4D) printing. With increasing improvements in design, reversible 4D printing—or two-way 4D printing—has been proven to be feasible. This technology will fully eliminate the need for human interference, as the programming is completely driven by external stimuli, which allows 4D-printed parts to be actuated in multiple cycles. This study proposes a new reversible 4D printing actuation method. The swelling of an elastomer and heat are used in the programming stage, and heat is used in the recovery stage. The main focus of this study is on the self-actuated programming step. To attain control over the bending, a simple predictive model has been developed to study the degree of curvature. The parameters, temperature, and elastomer thickness have also been studied in order to gain a better understanding of how well the model predicts the curvature. This understanding of the curvature will provide a great degree of control over the reversible 4D-printed structure.


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