Research Article Open Access

4D Printing: Technology Overview and Smart Materials Utilized

Antreas Kantaros1, Theodore Ganetsos1 and Dimitrios Piromalis2
  • 1 Department of Industrial Design and Production Engineering, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
  • 2 Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece


4D printing is a cutting-edge technology that allows for the creation of dynamic, self-assembling structures by utilizing cutting edge, newly introduced smart materials. It builds upon traditional 3D printing by adding the dimension of time, allowing printed objects to change shape or behavior over time. This is achieved through the use of smart materials, such as shape memory alloys or polymers, which respond to external stimuli such as heat or moisture. These materials are engineered to have specific properties that can be triggered by specific conditions such as temperature, humidity, light, or other physical forces. 4D printing enables the creation of structures that can adapt to their environment and perform specific functions, such as objects that change shape in response to temperature changes, or structures that can self-assemble in response to a specific trigger. Overall, 4D printing is an exciting and rapidly advancing technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way we design and create structures. The ability to create structures that can change shape or behavior over time opens up new possibilities for a wide range of applications. As the technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovative uses of 4D printing in a wide range of scientific fields such as architecture, aerospace, and biomedical engineering demanding the creation of highly complex and dynamic structures that can adapt to changing environments.

Journal of Mechatronics and Robotics
Volume 7 No. 1, 2023, 1-14


Submitted On: 26 January 2023 Published On: 13 March 2023

How to Cite: Kantaros, A., Ganetsos, T. & Piromalis, D. (2023). 4D Printing: Technology Overview and Smart Materials Utilized. Journal of Mechatronics and Robotics, 7(1), 1-14.

  • 25 Citations



  • 4D Printing
  • Smart Materials
  • 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Industry 4.0