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Advanced Materials series: Could 4D printing change how we design rolling stock and infrastructure?

4D printing is the process of giving 3D structures the ability to change shape overtime.

While 4D printing is still in its R&D stage, prototypes have already been developed in industries such as aviation and fashion. The biomedical industry has also started looking at this technology to develop the next generation of medications as well as to revolutionise the surgeon methodology for orthopaedic diagnostic and treatment. A project conducted by researchers at City, University of Hong Kong, is developing a 4D printer for ceramic materials where the final product, a robust and intricate ceramic structure can remember the original shape and resist deformation due to mechanical forces, temperature or electromagnetic field.

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