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Sustainable 3D/4D Printing Systems, Materials, and Applications

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 17341

Special Issue Editors

School of Engineering, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3216, Australia
Interests: 4D/3D/Bio printing; soft robotics; smart materials and structures; medical device design; robotic materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among advances in technologies and applications concerning additive manufacturing (AM), one of the most extraordinary reported developments so far is four-dimensional (4D) printing, in which three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is combined with smart materials (SMs) to produce structures that change shape or functionality over time in response to external stimuli, such as temperature, electricity, humidity, solvents, pH, or light. 4D printing is expected to play a crucial role in future designs due to its obvious advantage of creating engineered and natural systems that are socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable. For instance, 4D printing may allow scientists to develop biosensors, microfluidics, energy harvesters, smart solar panels and wind turbines, and energy conversion devices with efficient reusing of materials, waste management, and energy consumption towards more sustainability.

This special invites manuscripts that provide a global overview of how AM, particularly 4D printing, has a significant impact on the environment and sustainability, while also increasing both industrial and commercial benefits to society.

Dr. Ali Zolfagharian

Dr. Mahdi Bodaghi

Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 4D printing applications in sustainable soft robotics, microfluidics, energy arvesters, renewable energies, and self-healing structures
  • 3D-printed polymer systems, structures, sensors, and actuators
  • 3D-printed shape-memory polymers, hydrogels, polyelectrolytes, elastomers, and silicones
  • 3D-printed ionic polymers, conductive polymers, batteries, and electrochemical transistors
  • wearable electronics, shape adaptive structures, and metamaterials
  • modeling, analysis, and control of sustainable systems

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 4091 KiB  
Article
Bioinspired Pattern-Driven Single-Material 4D Printing for Self-Morphing Actuators
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10141; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610141 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2806
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable 3D/4D Printing Systems, Materials, and Applications)
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17 pages, 8393 KiB  
Article
3D-Printed Programmable Mechanical Metamaterials for Vibration Isolation and Buckling Control
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6831; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116831 - 02 Jun 2022
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4514
Abstract
Vibration isolation performance at low-frequency ranges before resonance is a vital characteristic that conventional springs cannot exhibit. This paper introduces a novel zero Poisson’s ratio graded cylindrical metamaterial to fulfill two main goals: (1) vibration isolation performance in low-frequency bands prior to resonance [...] Read more.
Vibration isolation performance at low-frequency ranges before resonance is a vital characteristic that conventional springs cannot exhibit. This paper introduces a novel zero Poisson’s ratio graded cylindrical metamaterial to fulfill two main goals: (1) vibration isolation performance in low-frequency bands prior to resonance and (2) global buckling control of a long cylindrical tube. For this purpose, “soft and stiff” re-entrant unit cells with varying stiffness were developed. The cylindrical metamaterials were then fabricated using a multi-jet fusion HP three-dimensional (3D) printer. The finite element analyses (FEA) and experimental results demonstrate that the simultaneous existence of multi-stiffness unit cells leads to quasi-zero stiffness (QZS) regions in the force-displacement relationship of a cylindrical metamaterial under compression. They possess significant vibration isolation performance at frequency ranges between 10 and 30 Hz. The proposed multi-stiffness re-entrant unit cells also offer global buckling control of long cylindrical tubes (with a length to diameter ratio of 3.7). The simultaneous existence of multi-stiffness re-entrant unit cells provides a feature for designers to adjust and control the deformation patterns and unit cells’ densification throughout cylindrical tubes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable 3D/4D Printing Systems, Materials, and Applications)
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Review

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22 pages, 5172 KiB  
Review
Polymer Banknotes: A Review of Materials, Design, and Printing
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043736 - 17 Feb 2023
Viewed by 8824
Abstract
Nowadays, more than 45 countries in the world use polymer banknotes in their monetary and banking systems. It is expected that by 2030, another 20 countries will abandon the use of paper banknotes and switch to polymer banknotes. Recent research shows that several [...] Read more.
Nowadays, more than 45 countries in the world use polymer banknotes in their monetary and banking systems. It is expected that by 2030, another 20 countries will abandon the use of paper banknotes and switch to polymer banknotes. Recent research shows that several countries in the Middle East and the European Union will switch to printing and using polymer banknotes soon due to the advantages of polymer banknotes. Polymer banknotes are made of polymeric materials. They possess very special optical security features and promote sustainability in the world, which motivated us to review recent materials, design, optical technologies, and printing methods in this respect. Since the topic of polymer banknotes is new and there are not many articles and research about them, this review specifically focuses on the structure of the constituent materials and security features and their reuse with an emphasis on sustainability and environmentally friendly banknotes. Specifically, analyses of 3D polymer films and the security properties of polymer banknotes are carried out. Finally, comparison studies with paper banknotes are performed, and pertinent conclusions are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable 3D/4D Printing Systems, Materials, and Applications)
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