4D Textiles: 3D printed hybrid textiles for shape change and self assembly – Presented by David Schmelzeisen, Insitut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University

4D Textiles: 3D printed hybrid textiles for shape change and self assembly – Presented by David Schmelzeisen, Insitut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University at the 3rd edition of 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference, which takes place on 18 April 2018 at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen, The Netherlands.

Textile materials combined with 3D printing technology create the opportunity to explore “4D Textiles” – hybrid systems that can change form and/or function with the application of relatively small external energy. 4D printing is currently explored with the use of smart materials allowing a 3D printed structure to change form under the application of heat. Hybrid textiles are being explored with the use of elastic knitted fabrics and 3D printing to create interesting shapes formed by the stored elastic energy in the textile.

There has been rapid growth in research regarding 3D printing in recent years driven by the low cost and material efficiency of the technology. Combining 3D printing and textile materials is still a relatively new research area. However it is a growth area that offers the promise of “4D Textiles” – hybrid textile/3D printed structures that can change structural form with time.

4D Textiles explore the interaction of elastic textiles and 3D printing, wherein the textile is pre-stretched prior to printing, and after the printing is complete the fabric strain causes curvature in the assembly for example.
The underlying concept behind these hybrid material systems is to store energy in the textile material prior to printing and then release that energy to affect form and function of the hybrid system. Typically knitted fabrics that contain elastic material are used due to the high elastic strain available and sufficient recovery force.

About David Schmelzeisen
Having studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen University, David started to focus on textile engineering and received the Master of Science degree in textile engineering. Furthermore he developed electronic sensor systems for the integration into textiles at the ETH Zurich.
Starting his PhD he supported research in the field of smart textiles at the Institut für Textiltechnik at RWTH Aachen University. Coming from smart textiles he started the research field of smart materials and 4D textiles at RWTH Aachen University. With his research group he won the 2016 Innovation Award of RWTH Aachen University.

About Insitut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University
Public funded projects bring together the competences of ITA and our industry partners and academic research partners from other disciplines. Here pre-competitive innovative process chains and new textile solutions for selected applications are developed. An emphasis is placed on supporting the innovation activities of SMEs.

Furthermore, process analyses and feasibility studies are carried out and prototypes are brought to market through direct research and development contracts from the industry.

For the research and development work, ITA has a modern equipped technical facility , which fully represents the textile process chain, from raw materials to semi-finished textile or component.

4D Printing ConferenceAbout the 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference
The 3rd edition of the 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference will take place on April 18, 2018, at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen, The Netherlands. At the same location, on April 17, 2018, the 3D Printing Materials Conference and the 3D Printing Design & Engineering Conference will be held.

Making and utilizing new materials to improve our life is a defining feature of mankind. We moved on from the stone age, to the bronze age, to the age of silicon and plastic. Now we are at the edge of a new episode, where technological breakthroughs allow us to create, investigate and dream of a total new range of structured forms of matter.

Two fields emerge strongly:

  1. 4D Printing offers a streamlined path from idea to full functionality.
  2. Mechanical metamaterials are structured materials with mechanical properties defined by their structure rather than their composition.

These are highly promising disciplines which develop in a synergistic manner, and which aim at creating entirely new forms of matter, which will lead to applications that have not yet been conceived.

The 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference will not only cover the academic results but will show how designers and engineers will see future applications and new markets.

Who should attend? Engineers; Designers; Material researchers; Material producers; Academics; anyone who sees potential in 4D Printing and Meta Materials

Day 1: April 17, 2018 Day 2: April 18, 2018
3D Printing Materials Conference 3D Printing Design & Engineering Conference 4D Printing & Meta Materials Farming Conference
Polymers (New materials)
Application of polymers in 3D Printing (from standard to high quality / high risk)
Multi material 3D Printing
3D design & 3D engineering tools / Visualisation tools
Value Engineering / Virtual Engineering
Topology Optimization
Reverse engineering
Postprocessing / AMES (Additive Manufacturing Execution Systems) / (MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems)
4D Printing from idea to full functionality
Smart materials
Applications & opportunities for designing and engineering
New materials for shoes and wearables
Applications in robotics
New type of sensors.




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