Four-dimensional Printing of Liquid Crystal Elastomers. Academic Article uri icon


  • Three-dimensional structures capable of reversible changes in shape, i.e., four-dimensional-printed structures, may enable new generations of soft robotics, implantable medical devices, and consumer products. Here, thermally responsive liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are direct-write printed into 3D structures with a controlled molecular order. Molecular order is locally programmed by controlling the print path used to build the 3D object, and this order controls the stimulus response. Each aligned LCE filament undergoes 40% reversible contraction along the print direction on heating. By printing objects with controlled geometry and stimulus response, magnified shape transformations, for example, volumetric contractions or rapid, repetitive snap-through transitions, are realized.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

altmetric score

  • 17.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Ambulo, C. P., Burroughs, J. J., Boothby, J. M., Kim, H., Shankar, M. R., & Ware, T. H.

citation count

  • 319

complete list of authors

  • Ambulo, Cedric P||Burroughs, Julia J||Boothby, Jennifer M||Kim, Hyun||Shankar, M Ravi||Ware, Taylor H

publication date

  • October 2017