3D Printing of Functional Materials: Extending 3D Printing to 4D Printing

Jun Yang

Professor, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Biomedical Engineering

Director, WIN 4.0 (Western’s Industry 4.0 Network)

Western University (The University of Western Ontario)

London, Ontario, N6A 5B9, Canada

Phone: 1-519-661-2111 ext. 80158

Email: jyang@eng.uwo.ca



3D printing has been leading to a new revolution in manufacturing and material engineering. The technology, with the capability of substantially changing the way in which materials are turned into products, is becoming a powerful manufacturing technology for creating sophisticated and bespoke 3D objects. Various 3D printing techniques such as selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, polymer jet deposition, granular materials binding and stereolithography have been developed. However, majority of 3D printing applications so far are limited to making prototypes, i.e. printing the structures. In addition, materials choices of all these techniques are limited compared to traditional manufacturing methods, mainly structural materials. Therefore, 3D printing of functional materials will significantly expand the utility of 3D printing, enabling a lot of new applications.

This presentation will begin with an overview of the state of the art of 3D printing technologies, opportunities and challenges of 3D printing, various 3D printing techniques and their mechanisms, advantages and limits. Then we will review recent advances in 3D printing of various advanced functional materials including biomaterials, energy materials, nanomaterials and composites, as well as 3D printing of stimuli responsive materials. 3D printing of functional materials largely extends the capability of 3D printing and truly adds a new dimension to 3D printing towards 4D printing.

At the end, there is an open discussion session. The audience is invited to discuss their needs and questions concerning material choices and functions, 3D printing technologies and applications in general.



Jun Yang is Professor in Mechanical & Materials Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, and Director of WIN 4.0 (Western’s Industry 4.0 Network) at Western University (The University of Western Ontario). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario. His research interests include Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing, Printed Electronics, Micro/Nanofabrication, BioMEMS/MEMS/NEMS, Metamaterials, Flexible/wearable Electronics, Biophysics, Advanced Functional Materials, Surface Science and Engineering, Lab-on-a-chip and biotechnology, etc. He has published more than 120 papers including multiple cover articles in high quality journals. He has given ~ 80 plenary/keynote/invited talks on conferences, symposiums and workshops. Dr. Yang was a recipient of 2006 PetroCanada Young Innovators Award, 2009 Early Researcher Award, 2012 University’s Faculty Scholar Award, 2012 and 2014 Western Innovation Funds Award, Second place, 3rd China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, 2015 Xerox UAC Award, 2016 NSERC Discovery Accelerator Award and 2017 Western’s Vanguard Awards.

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