SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Devin Roach
TIME: Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 9:00 a.m.
PLACE: Virtual, 001
TITLE: Developing Intelligent Structures and Devices using Novel Smart Materials and Multi-Material Multi-Method (M4) 3D Printing
COMMITTEE: Dr. H Jerry Qi, Chair (ME)
Dr. Yuhang Hu (ME)
Dr. Shuman Xia (ME)
Dr. Laurence Jacobs (CEE)
Dr. Thomas Spence ()


The advent of additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing, has enabled the rapid fabrication of complex structures previously unrealizable with traditional manufacturing techniques. Current approaches, however, are limited to single materials or single methodologies greatly limiting the potential scope of manufacturable products and components. Recently, our group has developed a novel multi-material multi-method (m4) 3D printer which integrates four AM technologies and two complementary technologies into one single platform. This allows for the fabrication of complex devices able to provide a wide range of functionalities ranging from stretchable electronics to self-sensing devices. To demonstrate these functionalities in the realm of printable electronics, multiple proof of concept printed circuit boards (PCBs) were fabricated which solve issues commonly encountered in 3D printed electronics such as high resolution or vertically integrated access (VIA) circuits. In addition, 3D printed structures able to respond to external stimulus, such as light or heat, have become highly desirable for applications ranging from soft robotics to implantable medical devices. Recently, our group has turned to liquid crystal elastomers (LCE), a class of active material able to generate large, rapid, and reversible actuations. Therefore, using the m4 3D printer, LCE-based smart structures requiring complex electronics were fabricated which can change their shape in response to an applied electrical current. In this scope multiple devices were fabricated to demonstrate the vast potential of m4 3D printing for creating smart, reconfigurable, and multi-functional structures.