Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing
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  • Release Date: 2023-07-19
  • additive manufacturing
  • shape change
  • material programming
  • adaptive structures
  • mechanical metamaterials
  • functional materials
  • carnivorous plants
  • bioinspiration
Video Introduction

This video is adapted from 10.3390/biomimetics8020233

Extrusion-based 4D-printing, which is an emerging field within additive manufacturing, has enabled the technical transfer of bioinspired self-shaping mechanisms by emulating the functional morphology of motile plant structures (e.g., leaves, petals, capsules). However, restricted by the layer-by-layer extrusion process, much of the resulting works are simplified abstractions of the pinecone scale’s bilayer structure. This video presents a new method of 4D-printing by rotating the printed axis of the bilayers, which enables the design and fabrication of self-shaping monomaterial systems in cross sections. This research introduces a computational workflow for programming, simulating, and 4D-printing differentiated cross sections with multilayered mechanical properties. Taking inspiration from the large-flowered butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora), which shows the formation of depressions on its trap leaves upon contact with prey, researchers investigate the depression formation of bioinspired 4D-printed test structures by varying each depth layer. Cross-sectional 4D-printing expands the design space of bioinspired bilayer mechanisms beyond the XY plane, allows more control in tuning their self-shaping properties, and paves the way toward large-scale 4D-printed structures with high-resolution programmability.

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Sahin, E.S.; Cheng, T.; Wood, D.; Tahouni, Y.; Poppinga, S.; Thielen, M.; Speck, T.; Menges, A. Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 22 April 2024).
Sahin ES, Cheng T, Wood D, Tahouni Y, Poppinga S, Thielen M, et al. Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 22, 2024.
Sahin, Ekin Sila, Tiffany Cheng, Dylan Wood, Yasaman Tahouni, Simon Poppinga, Marc Thielen, Thomas Speck, Achim Menges. "Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 22, 2024).
Sahin, E.S., Cheng, T., Wood, D., Tahouni, Y., Poppinga, S., Thielen, M., Speck, T., & Menges, A. (2023, July 19). Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing. In Encyclopedia.
Sahin, Ekin Sila, et al. "Cross-Sectional 4D-Printing." Encyclopedia. Web. 19 July, 2023.