Assistant professor Xinyi Xiao leads research on self-morphing 4D printing technology
Assistant professor Xinyi Xiao researches advanced thermo-responsive and self-morphing 4D printing technology alongside masters student Surya Prakash Pandeya at Miami University’s College of Engineering and Computing.
By Gabby Benedict, CEC Student Intern
Xinyi Xiao is two years into conducting research on thermo-responsive and self-morphing 4D printing technology alongside masters student Surya Prakash Pandeya.
Xiao is an assistant professor in the department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Miami University’s College of Engineering and Computing. Xiao and Pandeya have researched 4D printing technology that involves embedding smart thermo-responsive materials and processes onto flat 3D-printed objects. This allows them to shapeshift by putting them in high temperatures, changing the shape of the object.
The 4D printed object can even be reversed back to its original flat form for easy storage, making them useful as parts in furniture and easier to assemble and store away. This advanced technology can also be used in the medical field as a wearable way to track a person’s health and can allow itself to freely wrap itself around human organs or as a wristband without adding additional force.
“Everybody has a different heart shape, so through this kind of technology, you'd be able to make flexible freeform sensors with 4D objects and attach them to human organs and be able to wrap around them to monitor human health,” Xiao said.
Xiao will be conducting research on this design for a few more years and plans to move forward by designing and developing a non-wired soft robot that can assist humans in dangerous areas, e.g., nuclear plants.