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A holistic approach to design for 4D Printing

Abstract : Invented in 1983, as a rapid prototyping process, additive manufacturing (AM) is nowadays considered as a manufacturing process almost in the same way as conventional processes. For example, parts obtained by AM are found in aircraft structures. This AM evolution is mainly due to the shape complexity allowed by the process. The driving forces behind this evolution include: the development of various techniques on the layer-wise manufacturing principle and the improvement both in quantity and quality of the range of materials that can be processed. Many other AM techniques and materials continue to emerge. In the wake of the AM (usually referred to as 3D printing) another mode of manufacturing did emerge: 4D printing (4DP). 4DP consists of exploring the smart materials (SM) – AM interaction. SMs are materials whose state changes according to a stimulus; this is the case, for example, with thermochromic materials whose color changes in response to heat or hydrogels which can shrink as a function of an aqueous medium’s pH or of light. The objects thus obtained have – in addition to an initial form (3D) – the capacity to shift state (according to the stimuli to which the SMs of which they are made are sensitive) hence the 4th dimension (time). 4DP is – rightly – the subject of intense research concerning the manufacturing aspect (exploration of new processes and materials, characterization, etc.). However, very little work is done to support the designers (who, in principle, are neither AM experts nor experts of SMs) to use it in their concepts. This new process-material interaction requires adapted models, methodologies and design tools. This PhD on design for 4D printing aims at filling this methodological gap. A design methodology for AM (DFAM) has been proposed. This methodology integrates the freedoms (shape, materials, etc.) and the constraints (support, resolution, etc.) peculiar to the AM and allows both the design of parts and assemblies. Particularly, freedom of form has been taken into account by allowing the generation of a minimalist geometry based on the functional flows (material, energy, and signal) of the part. In addition, the contributions of this PhD focused on designing with smart materials (DwSM). Because SMs play a functional rather than a structural role, concerns about these materials need to be addressed in advance of the design process (typically in conceptual design phase). In addition, unlike conventional materials (for which a few parameter values may suffice as information to the designer), SMs need to be described in more detail (stimulus, response, functions, etc.). For these reasons a design-oriented information system on SMs has been developed. This system makes it possible, among other things, to inform designers about the capabilities of SMs and also to determine SMs candidates for a concept. The system has been materialized by a web application. Finally, a modeling framework allowing quickly modeling and simulating an object made of SMs has been proposed. This framework is based on voxel modeling (volumetric pixel). In addition to the simulation of SMs behaviors, the proposed theoretical framework also allows the computation of a functional distribution of SMs and conventional material; distribution which, given a stimulus, makes it possible to deform an initial form towards a desired final form. A tool – based on Grasshopper, a plug-in of the CAD software Rhinoceros® – materializing this methodological framework has also been developed.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 12:12:09 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 1, 2019 - 3:11:25 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-02160952, version 1


Comlan Sossou. A holistic approach to design for 4D Printing. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019UBFCA001⟩. ⟨tel-02160952⟩



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