4D printing: A detailed review of materials, techniques, and applications

Lana Joharji, Rishabh B. Mishra, Fahad Alam, Serhii Tytov, Fhad Al-Modaf, Nazek El-Atab*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Four-dimensional (4D) printing has gained considerable attention since its conception in 2013. It was made possible by interdisciplinary studies and the rapid expansion of smart materials, three-dimensional (3D) printers, and designs. Unlike static objects produced by 3D printing, the 4D effect enables a 3D-printed structure to change its design or functionality over a period of time in reaction to environmental factors such as temperature, light, or water, rendering 3D printing “alive.” This study reviews the latest significant basics and technological developments in 4D printing, as well as their features. The factors affecting 4D printing are also explored. Moreover, the employed materials are studied with a focus on their properties, mechanisms, and possible implications or uses. In addition, the various 4D printing techniques and their applications are presented. Finally, the challenges and limitations of the 4D printing domain are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111874
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
StatePublished - Sep 15 2022


  • 4D printing
  • Hydrogels
  • Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs)
  • Polymers
  • Reversible
  • Shape memory polymers (SMPs)
  • Smart materials (SMs)
  • soft robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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