Smart materials, also known as intelligent materials, which are responsive to the external stimuli including heat, moisture, stress, pH, and magnetic fields, have found extensive applications in sensors, actuators, soft robots, medical devices and artificial muscles. Using three-dimensional (3D) printing techniques for fabrication of smart devices allows for complex designs and well-controlled manufacturing processes. 4D printing is attributed to the 3D printing of smart materials that can be significantly transformed over time. Herein the smart materials including hydrogels and polymeric nanocomposites used in 4D printing were reviewed and the fundamental mechanisms responsible for the functionalities were discussed in detail. In this report, 4D printing of smart systems and their applications in sensors, actuators and biomedical devices were reviewed to provide a deeper understanding of the current development and the future outlook.

Smart polymers and nanocomposites for 3D and 4D printing


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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2020.06.001