Feb 11, 2018 | By Benedict

A professor of mathematics at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy has made a breakthrough in 4D printing, the 3D printing of objects that are programmed to change shape over time. The discovery involves controlling the nucleation of localized creases in soft solids.

Leonardo Fibonacci, perhaps the most famous Italian mathematician of all time, deserves a great deal of respect. He introduced the Arabic numbering system to Europe, pioneered use of the abacus, and devised the famous Fibonacci system, which explains the “Golden ratio” found in nature, architecture, and artworks like the Mona Lisa.

Unfortunately, many of Fibonacci’s discoveries weren’t accepted until several centuries after his death. Professor Pasquale Ciarletta, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at Italy’s Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), will be hoping his latest discovery is recognized a bit faster than that: he’s made a breakthrough in 4D printing, finding a new way to fabricate objects with a programmable shape over time.

His research reveals insights into controlling the “sudden nucleation of localized furrows,” or creases, in soft solids.

Ciarletta says his discovery is of interest not only for engineers, who can use 4D printing to fabricate devices with adaptive surface morphology at different length-scales, but also for developmental biologists, who can use the research to better understand the spontaneous emergence of patterns during tissue morphogenesis.

“Despite almost a century of thorough experimental investigation of the problem in engineering, the physics behind creasing [have] remained largely unexplained up to date, due to its formidable complexity,” Ciarletta says. “This study proposes a novel mathematical approach to accurately predict the experimental conditions triggering the onset and the morphology of creases, thus paving the way for controlling their appearance on-demand, down to nanometric scales.”

The study could lead to improvements in the design and fabrication of the next generation of morphable materials, which could then be used in stretchable electronics, self-foldable machines, and lab-on-a-chip devices.

Last year, as part of its 2017 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, research firm Gartner identified 4D printing as a “megatrend” to watch out for over the next five to 10 years.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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I.AM.Magic wrote at 2/12/2018 7:40:11 AM:

The video is old, but the publications are recent.

jill wrote at 2/11/2018 9:20:58 PM:

why is this even an article that video was from 2013. late much

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