Personalised 3D- and 4D-Printing of programmable, self-adjusting and multifunctional Material Systems for Sports and Medical Applications

The research project “4DmultiMATS” explores a novel mode of responsiveness based on structured material assemblies and differentiation strategies, through the 4D printing of self-regulating, multifunctional material systems for sports and medical applications. Inspired by natural role models, the 4D printed material systems – like living beings – can actively and passively adapt their shapes and functions through the application of external stimuli such as pressure, temperature, humidity, pH and light.

This research project brings together plant biomechanics with polymer chemistry, medicine, computational design as well as digital fabrication. Through material design, biological motion analysis, and biomimetic additive manufacturing, 4DmultiMATS achieves shape changing personalized orthotics with adaptive reinforcement. By autonomously self-regulating, printed structures can increase the wearing comfort of prostheses, protective vests, bandages, and orthoses, as well as support wound healing (e.g. of burns) and also avoid skin irritation due to friction. Minimally invasive 4D printed wound dressings utilize self-regulating shape change to unfold, conform to the wound, seal large bone defects, and promote tissue regeneration.

The research of 4DmultiMATS is accompanied and advised by an industrial consortium of companies from all areas relevant to this project. Together, the potential of these printed self-regulating, multifunctional material systems for industrial use will be evaluated and transfer to technology will be promoted at an early stage.


PROJECT TEAM

Institute of Macro Molecular Chemistry & Freiburg Centre of Material Research, Freiburg University
Prof. Dr. R. Mülhaupt (Project Coordinator)

Plant Biomechanics Group Freiburg, Freiburg University
Prof. Dr. T. Speck

Oral Biotechnology, Freiburg University Hospital
Prof. Dr. T. Steinberg

Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart
Tiffany Cheng, Dylan Wood, Prof. A. Menges

 

INDUSTRIAL PROJECT PARTNERS

A THIEME GmbH & Co. KG Drucksysteme (Teningen)

3D-LABS (St. Georgen)

BASF SE (Ludwigshafen)

ePainter (Freiburg)

Ortema GmbH (Markgröningen)

Uvex Sports Group GmbH & Co KG (Fürth)

Stryker Leibinger GmbH & CO. KG (Freiburg)

 

PROJECT FUNDING

Baden Württemberg Stiftung, Ausschreibung Innovation durch Additive Fertigung

 

PROJECT INFORMATION

Tiffany Cheng, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Computational Design and Construction