Revolutionary micro/nanoscale 4D printing: The production of transformable 3D structures with high resolution.


**Revolutionizing Manufacturing: The Future of 4D Printing**

The possibilities of 4D printing technology are truly mind-boggling. Imagine high-resolution 3D structures at the micro/nanoscale that can dynamically react to their surroundings. This groundbreaking technology, utilizing smart materials that exhibit shape deformation in response to external stimuli, holds enormous potential for a wide range of industries such as biomedicine, flexible electronics, soft robotics, and aerospace. However, there is one major hurdle that must be overcome for 4D printing to truly make its mark in the micro world – the need for higher-resolution 3D printing technology capable of achieving sub-micrometer or even smaller-scale features.

Enter Prof. Qi Ge’s team from the Southern University of Science and Technology, who have introduced a game-changing solution in their publication in the International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing. Their proposed technology, Two-photon polymerization-based (TTP-based) 4D printing, allows for the fabrication of high-resolution, transformable 3D structures at the micro/nanoscale, with features ranging from 90 nm to 500 nm. In this article, we will delve into the advancements of TTP-based 4D printing technology, explore its applications, and discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

TTP-based 4D printing technology utilizes specialized photoresist materials tailored to the desired functions of the target application. These materials enable the creation of micro/nanostructures with dynamic properties such as stimulus responsiveness, biomimetic self-actuation, color-changing, and shape-morphing capabilities, surpassing the limitations of commercial photoresists. The four categories of 4D printing materials suitable for TTP are magnetic materials, shape memory polymers, hydrogels, and liquid crystal elastomers.

But what exactly is 4D printing? It is the programmed transformation of a 3D printed structure in shape, property, and functionality. It allows for shape morphing, multi-functionality, self-assembly, and self-repair. It is printer-independent, time-dependent, and programmable. The emergence of TTP-based 4D printing technology has the potential to revolutionize various fields, including robotics, biomedicine, and nanotechnology.

The applications of TTP-based 4D printing are vast and can be classified based on structural evolutions and changes, such as shape morphing, color alteration, state switching, and locomotion. Some of the potential applications include biomedical micromachines, bioinspired microactuators, autonomous mobile microrobots, transformable devices and robots, and anti-counterfeiting microdevices.

Despite the excitement surrounding TTP-based 4D printing, there are still challenges to be addressed. One of the paramount concerns is the need to enhance manufacturing capabilities. To make this technology an integral part of diverse industries, equipment must be developed that is capable of cross-scaling and handling multiple materials at the micro/nanoscale. This entails a journey toward greater printing speed, scalability, and precision. Another critical aspect is the optimization of material performance. The photoresists used in TTP-based 4D printing are crucial for achieving structural transformations and functional excellence. They need to be innovative and refined, with superior chemical, thermal, and mechanical attributes.

However, the heart of future endeavors lies in the design methodology. Researchers are exploring ways to synthesize the process, material, structure, and function into a harmonious design framework. This approach leverages topological optimization and machine learning to refine the printing process, material choices, and structural designs simultaneously, resulting in the ability to craft micro/nanostructures with tailored functionalities.

The aspirations of this field are clear – through advanced design techniques, researchers aim to unlock new horizons in TTP-based 4D printing. Overcoming these challenges isn’t just about technological advancement; it’s about reshaping industries and pioneering innovative applications. The journey ahead is exciting as we chart the future of TTP-based 4D printing.

Source: [International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing](

*Note: This blog post has been written in a different style while keeping the story and logic of the original article the same.

Title: The Journey of Time: From the Dawn of Existence to the Present Moment


Time, an intangible force that governs our lives, has intrigued and fascinated humanity since the beginning of existence. It shapes our experiences, memories, and aspirations. In this blog post, we embark on an extraordinary journey through time, exploring significant moments that have left indelible marks on our collective history. Brace yourself as we navigate through the annals of time, from the distant past to the present moment.

Chapter 1: The Ancient Past

We begin our journey in the depths of history, immersing ourselves in the distant past. Millennia ago, ancient civilizations rose and fell, leaving behind awe-inspiring remnants of their once-glorious existence. It is in these ruins that we can decipher the stories of our ancestors; their triumphs, struggles, and contributions to the tapestry of humanity. As we traverse forward in time, we witness the birth of great empires, the rise of remarkable leaders, and the dawn of profound innovations.

Chapter 2: A Tale of Progress

The ebb and flow of time have propounded relentless progress. It is in the constant pursuit of advancement that we witness the birth of technological marvels, scientific breakthroughs, and cultural revolutions. From the industrial revolution to the digital age, humanity has continually pushed the boundaries of innovation, shaping the world as we know it today. As we delve deeper into this chapter, we encounter the transformative power of human ingenuity.

Chapter 3: The Power of Moments

Time is not just a linear progression; it is a series of cherished moments that define our existence. Throughout history, remarkable moments have shaped the destiny of nations, transformed lives, and altered the course of history. From the declaration of independence to the fall of oppressive regimes, such moments serve as pivotal turning points, amplifying the voice of the masses and heralding change. In this chapter, we reflect on the power and significance of these crucial events.

Chapter 4: The Now and Beyond

As we journey through time, we arrive at the present moment, where countless threads of history converge and interweave. It is here, in the present, that we recognize our role and responsibility as custodians of the past and architects of the future. It is in the present that we confront the pressing challenges of our time, embracing the urgency to build a sustainable world, promote equality, and foster compassion. The choices we make today will shape the chapters to come.


Time, a continuous stream that flows through the fabric of the universe, holds within it immense power and potential. As we inch closer to the present moment, we realize the significance of the past and the potential of the future. The story of time, our collective story, continues to unfold before our eyes. Let us embrace this journey, cherishing the moments that have passed, the moments that are, and the moments yet to arrive. For in our eternal quest through time, we discover the essence of what it means to be human.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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