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World’s first 4D printing for ceramics developed

Scientists have successfully developed the world’s first 4D printing for ceramics, that can be used to create complex, shape-changing objects.
4D printing is conventional 3D printing combined with the additional element of time as the fourth dimension, where the printed objects can re-shape or self-assemble themselves over time with external stimuli, such as mechanical force, temperature, or a magnetic field.
  1. Researchers from the City University of Hong Kong made use of the elastic energy stored in the stretched precursors for shape morphing.
  2. When the stretched ceramic precursors are released, they undergo self-reshaping.
  3. After heat treatment, the precursors turn into ceramics.
  4. Ceramic has a high melting point, so it is difficult to use conventional laser printing to make ceramics.
  5. The existing 3D-printed ceramic precursors, which are usually difficult to deform, also hinder the production of ceramics with complex shapes.
  6. To overcome these challenges, researchers developed a novel ceramic ink, which is a mixture of polymers and ceramic nanoparticles.
  7. The resultant elastomer-derived ceramics are mechanically robust.
  8. They can have a high compressive strength-to-density ratio, and they can come in large sizes with high strength compared to other printed ceramics.
  9. With the arrival of 5G networks, ceramic products will play a more important role in the manufacture of electronic products.
  10. The artistic nature of ceramics and their capability to form complex shapes also provide the potential for consumers to create custom ceramic mobile phone backplates

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