Engineers from MIT and Singapore University of Technology and Design are using light to print three-dimensional structures that remember their original shapes.
Twisted, bent at extreme angles, and stretched, these structures – which range from small coils and multi-material flowers to a one-inch tall Eiffel Tower replica – sprang back to their original forms within seconds of being heated to a certain sweet-spot temperature, an MIT report said
Nicholas X. Fang, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, said shape-memory polymers that can predictably morph in response to temperature are useful in a number of applications, including soft actuators that turn solar panels toward the sun and tiny drug capsules that open upon early signs of infection.
Fang said these 3D shape-memory materials can be thought of as 4D materials since they are designed to change over the fourth dimension – time.
Filed Under: Materials • advanced