Deakin University

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Bioinspired Pattern-Driven Single-Material 4D Printing for Self-Morphing Actuators

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-13, 03:35 authored by YS Alshebly, KB Mustapha, Ali ZolfagharianAli Zolfagharian, M Bodaghi, MS Mohamed Ali, HA Almurib, M Nafea
Four-dimensional (4D) printing of shape memory polymers is a leading research field due to the possibilities allowed by using these materials. The strain difference in the structures that is caused by the different stiffness profiles can be used to influence the shape-memory effect in the actuators. In this study, the influence of patterns on the strain is tested in polylactic acid (PLA) actuators using patterns made of different shapes. Five bioinspired geometrical shapes, namely, circles, squares, hexagons, rhombuses, and triangles, are used in the three-dimensional (3D) printing of the actuators. The use of shapes of different sizes along with combinations of different patterns in the PLA actuators is carried out to develop 40 actuators with different designs. The effects of the patterns and their characteristics are analysed and compared. The self-bending angles of the actuators range from 6.19° to 30.86°, depending on the patterns and arrangement used. To demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing the proposed designs in practical applications, a hand-like shaped gripper is developed. The results show that the gripper can grip objects with uniform and non-uniform cross-sections. The developed gripper demonstrates that the proposed concept can be implemented in various applications, including self-morphing structures and soft robotics.