Shape Morphing of 4D-Printed Polylactic Acid Structures under Thermal Stimuli: An Experimental and Finite Element Analysis

Grigorios Kostopoulos, Konstantinos Stamoulis, Vaios Lappas, Stelios K. Georgantzinos

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Abstract

This study explores the shape-morphing behavior of 4D-printed structures made from Polylactic Acid (PLA), a prominent bio-sourced shape-memory polymer. Focusing on the response of these structures to thermal stimuli, this research investigates how various printing parameters influence their morphing capabilities. The experimental approach integrates design and slicing, printing using fused deposition modeling (FDM), and a post-printing activation phase in a controlled laboratory environment. This process aims to replicate the external stimuli that induce shape morphing, highlighting the dynamic potential of 4D printing. Utilizing Taguchi’s Design of Experiments (DoE), this study examines the effects of printing speed, layer height, layer width, nozzle temperature, bed temperature, and activation temperature on the morphing behavior. The analysis includes precise measurements of deformation parameters, providing a comprehensive understanding of the morphing process. Regression models demonstrate strong correlations with observed data, suggesting their effectiveness in predicting responses based on control parameters. Additionally, finite element analysis (FEA) modeling successfully predicts the performance of these structures, validating its application as a design tool in 4D printing. This research contributes to the understanding of 4D printing dynamics and offers insights for optimizing printing processes to harness the full potential of shape-morphing materials. It sets a foundation for future research, particularly in exploring the relationship between printing parameters and the functional capabilities of 4D-printed structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number134
Number of pages18
JournalAerospace
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
Event13th EASN International Conference on Innovation in Aviation and Space for Opening New Horizons - Salerno, Italy
Duration: 5 Sept 20238 Sept 2023

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