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Title: Cold-programmed shape-morphing structures based on grayscale digital light processing 4D printing

Shape-morphing structures that can reconfigure their shape to adapt to diverse tasks are highly desirable for intelligent machines in many interdisciplinary fields. Shape memory polymers are one of the most widely used stimuli-responsive materials, especially in 3D/4D printing, for fabricating shape-morphing systems. They typically go through a hot-programming step to obtain the shape-morphing capability, which possesses limited freedom of reconfigurability. Cold-programming, which directly deforms the structure into a temporary shape without increasing the temperature, is simple and more versatile but has stringent requirements on material properties. Here, we introduce grayscale digital light processing (g-DLP) based 3D printing as a simple and effective platform for fabricating shape-morphing structures with cold-programming capabilities. With the multimaterial-like printing capability of g-DLP, we develop heterogeneous hinge modules that can be cold-programmed by simply stretching at room temperature. Different configurations can be encoded during 3D printing with the variable distribution and direction of the modular-designed hinges. The hinge module allows controllable independent morphing enabled by cold programming. By leveraging the multimaterial-like printing capability, multi-shape morphing structures are presented. The g-DLP printing with cold-programming morphing strategy demonstrates enormous potential in the design and fabrication of shape-morphing structures.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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