The 4D Printing Society is a platform focused on available 4D printing technologies for practical solutions for existing needs and researching future methods and materials for use with these technologies.
4D printing means “Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) of objects able to self-transform, in form or function, when they are exposed to a predetermined stimulus, including osmotic pressure, heat, current, ultraviolet light, or other energy sources”.
28 November 2023, 11th edition
With the 3D printing methods, the manufacturing of the objects is based on the three geometrical axes x, y, and z, but in 4D printing, there is a new dimension, the “time” dimension. This does not represent the time taken to carry out the printing. Instead, it represents the passage of time while objects undertake shape transformation and are mentioned as the main difference between 3D and 4D printing.
To work correctly, 4D printed objects need to have a calculated geometry design for a specific stimulus condition, so that the geometry changes can be controlled through the application of the stimulus.
Even though many advancements have been made, 4D printing is nevertheless at an initial stage. Therefore, more research is required on 4D printing technology parameters, including stimulus-responsive materials, imaging methods, additive manufacturing approaches, and stimulus. Also, the material restricts the advancement of 4D printing. The materials used for 4D printing should be sensitive; however, not all materials are stimulus-responsive materials, and not all stimulus-responsive materials can be used for printing devices.