Digital light 4D printing creates dynamic 3D structures

Tinuku - Researches show the digital light 4D printing (DL4P) that creates dynamic 3D structures with programmed morphologies and motions. This approach encodes temperature-responsive 2D hydrogels with spatially and temporally controlled growth functions or target metrics, which transforms into 3D structures and programs their motions.

Living organisms use spatially controlled expansion and contraction of soft tissues to achieve complex three-dimensional (3D) morphologies and movements and thereby functions. However, replicating such features in man-made materials remains a challenge.

Tinuku Digital light 4D printing creates dynamic 3D structures

Reported on the Penelitian, Kyungsuk Yum and colleagues build temperature-responsive hydrogels with phototunable degrees and rates of swelling and shrinking allow us to define target 3D shapes at both the swelled and shrunk states.

In particular, the ability to control the rates uniquely enables a new strategy for programming growth-induced 3D motions. This method simultaneously prints multiple 3D structures with custom design from a single precursor solution in a one-step process within 60s and is thus highly scalable.

“Taking advantage of our phototunable hydrogels and the flexible 2D printing method for 3D material programming, we established simple yet versatile design rules and the concept of modularity for creating complex 3D structures with diverse morphologies, including ray-inspired structures with programmed motions,” said Yum.

The ability to spatially control the rates of shape changes allows to fabricate dynamic 3D structures with programmed sequential motions, as previously demonstrated with photopatterned hydrogels responsive to different molecular inputs and those with different thicknesses.