4D printing: a new dimension for polymers

Published on 25/07/2022

Every summer, LIST looks back at the success stories from the previous year. LIST is working on shape-memory polymers, a family of polymers that is compatible with 4D printing.

4D printing is the ability to print an object that, after a predetermined time, can change shape due to the effect of an external factor such as light, heat, humidity, vibration, etc. It has many applications, particularly in the medical field, as well as in the fields of construction, industry and fashion. Polymers are at the forefront of this breakthrough as these futuristic materials will inevitably be composites. It is specifically the union of polymers with other materials, sometimes natural, such as wood cellulose, that gives objects their ability to change shape or react to a stimulus.

LIST is working on shape-memory polymers in particular, a family of polymers that is compatible with 4D printing. These are materials that are already well-known and whose properties have been modified to give them a dynamic memory effect. Once stimulated (heat, electricity, light, etc.), these polymers are able to shift from one shape to another. In 2021, LIST also continued its work on integrated detection technologies in 3D-printed polymers as part of an industrial collaboration with the Guala Closures group.

Discover more success stories in the digital version of the LIST 2021 annual report, including videos, podcasts and links to more information, or download the PDF version, in English and French.


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