Howon Lee shows us his 4D printing concept

Print 4D

Before even starting, I would like to tell you precisely about the person who names the title of this post, Howon lee, doctor and researcher of the Rutgers University who has been the leading researcher of a work team that has managed to develop a new 4D printing method from an intelligent gel with which they could be able to develop what they themselves have called 'living' structures in human organs and tissues , soft robots ...

To clarify something as simple as what 4D printing is, just mention that it is still 3D printing that can change shape. On this particular occasion, a new kind of hydrogel that can be worked on a 3D printer and that, once any object is manufactured, causes it to change shape with temperature.

This new hydrogel allows us to test with what is known as 4D printing

Based on the paper that the group of researchers has just published, tell you that it seems that 3D hydrogel printing stands out for being fast, easy to produce and even allows to manufacture any type of part in high resolution. All objects made of this hydrogel remain solid and can retain their shape despite containing water.

The idea behind the use of this type of hydrogel is to achieve, for example, the manufacture of a series of drugs that, due to their rigidity, could be installed in any part of the body and release their content exactly at the point indicated with just apply heat to a very specific area of the body.

As the teacher has commented Howon lee:

We have just started exploring the full potential of this hydrogel. We add another dimension to it, and this is the first time anyone has done it on this scale. They are flexible materials with the ability to change shape. I like to call them smart materials.

If you have full control of the shape, then you can program its function. I think this is the power of shape-shifting material 3D printing.


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