4D printing of stimulus-responsive polymeric materials
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Rising beyond 3D printing techniques, 4D printing can fabricate complex structures with inks made of stimulus-responsive polymeric materials. Thus, after printed, these structures can further response upon specific stimuli such as heat, water, and light and transform to other pre-designed geometries. To understand the self-morphing mechanisms of the 4D printed structures, this work studied the mechanical properties of SU-8 by performing controlled variable experiments and FEA analysis to provide mechanical analysis on experimental results. The self-morphing performance of the 4D printed objects based on SU-8 is programmable by controlling thickness and geometry of the samples. Besides the SU-8, in this thesis we further investigated PVDF/LIG bilayers and structures made of PDMS/NaHCO3 composite. It was found that the shape changing rules of SU-8 are also applicable to other responsive materials. The established 4D printing technique is expected to bring new opportunities to future drug delivery devices, soft robotics and tissue engineering. Keywords: 4D printing, stimuli, SU-8, controlled variable experiments, thickness, geometry, self-morphing.