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  1. Abstract

    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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  2. Abstract

    In recent decades, origami has been explored to aid in the design of engineering structures. These structures span multiple scales and have been demonstrated to be used toward various areas such as aerospace, metamaterial, biomedical, robotics, and architectural applications. Conventionally, origami or deployable structures have been actuated by hands, motors, or pneumatic actuators, which can result in heavy or bulky structures. On the other hand, active materials, which reconfigure in response to external stimulus, eliminate the need for external mechanical loads and bulky actuation systems. Thus, in recent years, active materials incorporated with deployable structures have shown promise for remote actuation of light weight, programmable origami. In this review, active materials such as shape memory polymers (SMPs) and alloys (SMAs), hydrogels, liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs), magnetic soft materials (MSMs), and covalent adaptable network (CAN) polymers, their actuation mechanisms, as well as how they have been utilized for active origami and where these structures are applicable is discussed. Additionally, the state‐of‐the‐art fabrication methods to construct active origami are highlighted. The existing structural modeling strategies for origami, the constitutive models used to describe active materials, and the largest challenges and future directions for active origami research are summarized.

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  3. Printable feedstocks that can produce lightweight, robust, and ductile structures with tunable and switchable conductivity are of considerable interest for numerous application spaces. Combining the specific properties of commodity thermoplastics with the unique electrical and redox properties of conducting polymers (CPs) presents new opportunities for the field of printed (bio)electronics. Here, we report on the direct ink write (DIW) printing of ink formulations based on polyaniline-dinonylnaphthalene sulfonic acid (PANI-DNNSA), which has been synthesized in bulk quantities (∼400 g). DNNSA imparts solubility to PANI up to 50 mg mL −1 , which allows the use of various additives to tune the rheological behavior of the inks without significantly compromising the electrical properties of the printed structures, which reach conductivities in the range of <10 −7 –10 0 S cm −1 as a function of ink formulation and post treatment used. Fumed silica (FS) and ultra-high molecular weight polystyrene (UHMW-PS) additives are leveraged to endow printability and shape retention to inks, as well as to compare the use of traditional rheological modifiers with commodity thermoplastics on CP feedstocks for tailored DIW printing. We show that the incorporation of UHMW-PS into these ink formulations is critical for obtaining high crack resistance in printed structures. This work serves as a guide for future ink designs of CPs with commodity thermoplastics and their subsequent DIW printing to yield conductive architectures and devices for various applications. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 30, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Multimaterial additive manufacturing has important applications in various emerging fields. However, it is very challenging due to material and printing technology limitations. Here, we present a resin design strategy that can be used for single-vat single-cure grayscale digital light processing (g-DLP) 3D printing where light intensity can locally control the conversion of monomers to form from a highly stretchable soft organogel to a stiff thermoset within in a single layer of printing. The high modulus contrast and high stretchability can be realized simultaneously in a monolithic structure at a high printing speed (z-direction height 1 mm/min). We further demonstrate that the capability can enable previously unachievable or hard-to-achieve 3D printed structures for biomimetic designs, inflatable soft robots and actuators, and soft stretchable electronics. This resin design strategy thus provides a material solution in multimaterial additive manufacture for a variety of emerging applications.

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  5. Shape-changing objects are prized for applications ranging from acoustics to robotics. We report sub-millimetre bubbles that reversibly and rapidly change not only their shape but also their topological class, from sphere to torus, when subjected to a simple pressure treatment. Stabilized by a solid-like film of nanoscopic protein “particles”, the bubbles may persist in toroidal form for several days, most of them with the relative dimensions expected of Clifford tori. The ability to cross topological classes reversibly and quickly is enabled by the expulsion of protein from the strained surfaces in the form of submicron assemblies. Compared to structural modifications of liquid-filled vesicles, for example by slow changes in solution osmolality, the rapid inducement of shape changes in bubbles by application of pressure may hasten experimental investigations of surface mechanics, even as it suggests new routes to lightweight materials with high surface areas. 
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