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Posted: Jul 03, 2017
Shape memory composites for 3D-printed photoresponsive devices
(Nanowerk News) Researchers in Singapore have fabricated 3D printed photoresponsive
shape memory devices through combining fused deposition modeling (FDM) printing technology and photoresponsive shape memory composites based on polyurethane and carbon black (PUCB).
The authors applied FDM in order to avoid the influence of UV illumination in the 3D printing process of photoresponsive devices. The addition of carbon black with an efficient photothermal conversion endows the 3D printed shape memory devices with excellent photo response.
The team points out that the printing of such a frame resembling the crystal structure of NaCl by FDM printer constitutes a huge challenge due to the hollow and overhanging components of the structure.
When the temperature of the nozzle is above the melting point of PUCB, the thermoplastic filament
would be in the melt state, thus enabling its extrusion from the nozzle for printing cubic frame by a FDM printer. After heating, adding external force, and cooling for 3D printed cubic frame, the temporary shape of the cubic frame was fixed from the original state.
Interestingly, natural sunlight can also trigger the shape memory behavior of these 3D printed devices due to photoresponsive shape memory property of printing materials PUCB.
"The development of this facile printing strategy will provide tremendous opportunities for the design and fabrication of personal stimuli-responsive devices, which can be widely applied in the field of attractive and highly personalized biomimetic smart devices and soft robotics," the authors cocnlude.