Laser Additive Manufacturing: Design, Materials, Processes and Applications, 2nd Edition

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "D3: 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 13730

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, Gemological Institute, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: additive manufacturing; laser advanced manufacturing; laser-matter interaction; numerical simulation; in situ characterization; microstructures; mechanical properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
Interests: additive manufacturing; selective laser melting; crystal plasticity finite element; dynamic mechanical properties; titanium alloy; metal matrix composites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Shanghai Engineering Technology Research Center of Near-Net-Shape Forming for Metallic Materials, Shanghai Spaceflight Precision Machinery Institute, Shanghai 201600, China
Interests: additive manufacturing; selective laser melting; wire arc additive manufacturing; structure design; magnesium alloy
TSC Laser Technology Development (Beijing) Co., Ltd., Beijing 100076, China
Interests: additive manufacturing; selective laser melting; 3D printing; microstructures; mechanical properties

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following on from the success of the initial Special Issue on laser-based additive manufacturing (LAM), this second volume continues our exploration of the ever-advancing progress of the design, materials, processes and applications of LAM. LAM is a revolutionary advanced digital manufacturing and key strategic technology for technological innovation and industrial sustainability. This technology unlocks the constraints of traditional manufacturing and meets the needs of complex geometry fabrication and high-performance part fabrication. A deeper understanding of the design, materials, processes, structures, properties and applications of this technology is needed to produce novel functional devices, as well as defect-free structurally sound and reliable AM parts.

This Special Issue of Micromachines entitled "Laser Additive Manufacturing: Design, Materials, Processes and Applications, Volume II" aims to cover all the possible topics in this field, including macro- to micro-scale additive manufacturing with lasers, including structure design, fabrication, modeling and simulation; in situ characterization of additive manufacturing processes; and ex situ material characterization and performances, with an overview of various applications in aerospace, biomedicine, optics, transportation and energy, etc.

It is our pleasure to invite you to contribute original articles, comprehensive reviews and letters/opinions to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Jie Yin
Dr. Yang Liu
Dr. Linda Ke
Dr. Kai Guan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing
  • laser powder bed fusion
  • laser-directed energy deposition
  • laser advanced manufacturing
  • design and modeling
  • materials
  • processes
  • characterization
  • mechanical and functional properties
  • applications

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 11474 KiB  
Article
Microstructure, Tensile Properties, and Fracture Toughness of an In Situ Rolling Hybrid with Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing AerMet100 Steel
by Lei Lei, Linda Ke, Yibo Xiong, Siyu Liu, Lei Du, Mengfan Chen, Meili Xiao, Yanfei Fu, Fei Yao, Fan Yang, Kun Wang and Baohui Li
Micromachines 2024, 15(4), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15040494 - 03 Apr 2024
Viewed by 363
Abstract
As a type of ultra-high strength steel, AerMet100 steel is used in the aerospace and military industries. Due to the fact that AerMet100 steel is difficult to machine, people have been exploring the process of additive manufacturing to fabricate AerMet100 steel. In this [...] Read more.
As a type of ultra-high strength steel, AerMet100 steel is used in the aerospace and military industries. Due to the fact that AerMet100 steel is difficult to machine, people have been exploring the process of additive manufacturing to fabricate AerMet100 steel. In this study, AerMet100 steel was produced using an in situ rolling hybrid with wire arc additive manufacturing. Microstructure, tensile properties, and fracture toughness of as-deposited and heat-treated AerMet100 steel were evaluated in different directions. The results reveal that the manufacturing process leads to grain fragmentation and obvious microstructural refinement of the AerMet100 steel, and weakens the anisotropy of the mechanical properties. After heat treatment, the microstructure of the AerMet100 steel is mainly composed of lath martensite and reversed austenite. Alloy carbides are precipitated within the martensitic matrix, and a high density of dislocations is the primary strengthening mechanism. The existence of film-like austenite among the martensite matrix enhances the toughness of AerMet100 steel, which coordinates stress distribution and restrains crack propagation, resulting in an excellent balance between strength and toughness. The AerMet100 steel with in situ rolling is isotropy and achieves the following values: an average ultimate strength of 1747.7 ± 16.3 MPa, yield strength of 1615 ± 40.6 MPa, elongation of 8.3 ± 0.2% in deposition direction, and corresponding values in the building direction are 1821.3 ± 22.1 MPa, 1624 ± 84.5 MPa, and 7.6 ± 1.7%, and the KIC value up to 70.6 MPa/m0.5. Full article
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17 pages, 9122 KiB  
Article
Design and Optimization of Thin-Walled Main Support Structure for Space Camera Based on Additive Manufacturing
by Jiahao Peng, Shijie Liu, Dong Wang, Anpeng Xu, Xin Huang, Tianqi Ma, Jing Wang and Hang Li
Micromachines 2024, 15(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15020211 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
In order to solve the design requirements of high stiffness and lightweight for the primary support structure of a wide-field auroral imager, we propose a solution for designing and optimizing a large-scale complex thin-walled structure using additive manufacturing. Firstly, we devise an integrated [...] Read more.
In order to solve the design requirements of high stiffness and lightweight for the primary support structure of a wide-field auroral imager, we propose a solution for designing and optimizing a large-scale complex thin-walled structure using additive manufacturing. Firstly, we devise an integrated thin-walled structure and test material for the main support. Secondly, shape optimization is achieved via the optimization of the lateral slope angle of the primary support based on Timoshenko cantilever beam theory. Additionally, an active fitting optimization algorithm is proposed for the purpose of refining the wall thickness of the thin-walled structure. Then, we determine the structural design of the main support. This primary support is manufactured via selective laser melting (SLM). Following processing, the structure size is 538 mm × 400 mm × 384 mm, and the mass is 7.78 kg. Finally, frequency scanning experiments indicate that, in the horizontal direction, there is a natural frequency of 105.97 Hz with an error rate of approximately 3% compared to finite element analysis results. This research confirms that our large-scale complex, thin-walled main support structure design meets all design requirements. Full article
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0 pages, 5254 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Compressive Properties and Failure Mechanism of the Laser Powder Bed Fusion of Submicro-LaB6 Reinforced Ti-Based Composites
by Xianghui Li and Yang Liu
Micromachines 2023, 14(12), 2237; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14122237 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 648
Abstract
In this study, lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) particle-reinforced titanium matrix composites (PRTMCs, TC4/LaB6) were successfully manufactured using the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process. Thereafter, the effect of the mass fraction of LaB6 on the microstructure and the dynamic [...] Read more.
In this study, lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) particle-reinforced titanium matrix composites (PRTMCs, TC4/LaB6) were successfully manufactured using the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) process. Thereafter, the effect of the mass fraction of LaB6 on the microstructure and the dynamic compressive properties was investigated. The results show that the addition of LaB6 leads to significant grain refinement. Moreover, the general trend of grain size reveals a concave bend as the fraction increases from 0.2% to 1.0%. Furthermore, the texture intensity of prior β grains and α grains was found to be weakened in the composites. It was also observed that the TC4/LaB6 have higher quasi-static and dynamic compressive strengths but lower fracture strain when compared with the as-built TC4. The sample with 0.5 wt.% LaB6 was found to have the best strength–toughness synergy among the three groups of composites due to having the smallest grain size. Furthermore, the fracture mode of TC4/LaB6 was found to change from the fracture under the combined action of brittle and ductility to the cleavage fracture. This study was able to provide a theoretical basis for an in-depth understanding of the compressive properties of additive manufacturing of PRTMCs under high-speed loading conditions. Full article
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14 pages, 22258 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Laser Process Parameters on the Adhesion Strength between Electroless Copper and Carbon Fiber Composites Determined Using Response Surface Methodology
by Xizhao Wang, Jianguo Liu, Haixing Liu, Zhicheng Zhou, Zhongli Qin and Jiawen Cao
Micromachines 2023, 14(12), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14122168 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Laser process technology provides a feasible method for directly manufacturing surface-metallized carbon fiber composites (CFCs); however, the laser’s process parameters strongly influence on the adhesion strength between electroless copper and CFCs. Here, a nanosecond ultraviolet laser was used to fabricate electroless copper on [...] Read more.
Laser process technology provides a feasible method for directly manufacturing surface-metallized carbon fiber composites (CFCs); however, the laser’s process parameters strongly influence on the adhesion strength between electroless copper and CFCs. Here, a nanosecond ultraviolet laser was used to fabricate electroless copper on the surface of CFCs. In order to achieve good adhesion strength, four key process parameters, namely, the laser power, scanning line interval, scanning speed, and pulse frequency, were optimized experimentally using response surface methodology, and a central composite design was utilized to design the experiments. An analysis of variance was conducted to evaluate the adequacy and significance of the developed regression model. Also, the effect of the process parameters on the adhesion strength was determined. The numerical analysis indicated that the optimized laser power, scanning line interval, scanning speed, and pulse frequency were 5.5 W, 48.2 μm, 834.0 mm/s, and 69.5 kHz, respectively. A validation test confirmed that the predicted results were consistent with the actual values; thus, the developed mathematical model can adequately predict responses within the limits of the laser process parameters being used. Full article
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15 pages, 7102 KiB  
Article
Effects of Building Directions on Microstructure, Impurity Elements and Mechanical Properties of NiTi Alloys Fabricated by Laser Powder Bed Fusion
by Shuo Wang, Xiao Yang, Jieming Chen, Hengpei Pan, Xiaolong Zhang, Congyi Zhang, Chunhui Li, Pan Liu, Xinyao Zhang, Lingqing Gao and Zhenzhong Wang
Micromachines 2023, 14(9), 1711; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14091711 - 31 Aug 2023
Viewed by 816
Abstract
For NiTi alloys prepared by the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), changes in the building directions will directly change the preferred orientation and thus directly affect the smart properties, such as superelasticity, as well as change the distribution state of defects and impurity [...] Read more.
For NiTi alloys prepared by the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), changes in the building directions will directly change the preferred orientation and thus directly affect the smart properties, such as superelasticity, as well as change the distribution state of defects and impurity elements to affect the phase transformation behaviour, which in turn affects the smart properties at different temperatures. In this study, the relationship between impurity elements, the building directions, and functional properties; the effects of building directions on the crystallographic anisotropy; phase composition; superelastic properties; microhardness; geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) density; and impurity element content of NiTi SMAs fabricated by LPBF were systematically studied. Three building directions measured from the substrate, namely, 0°, 45° and 90°, were selected, and three sets of cylindrical samples were fabricated with the same process parameters. Along the building direction, a strong <100>//vertical direction (VD) texture was formed for all the samples. Because of the difference in transformation temperature, when tested at 15 °C, the sample with the 45° orientation possessed the highest strain recovery of 3.2%. When tested at the austenite phase transformation finish temperature (Af)+10 °C, the 90° sample had the highest strain recovery of 5.83% and a strain recovery rate of 83.3%. The sample with the 90° orientation presented the highest microhardness, which was attributed to its high dislocation density. Meanwhile, different building directions had an effect on the contents of O, C, and N impurity elements, which affected the transformation temperature by changing the Ni/Ti ratio. This study innovatively studied the impurity element content and GND densities of compressive samples with three building directions, providing theoretical guidance for LPBFed NiTi SMA structural parts. Full article
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17 pages, 7014 KiB  
Article
Superelastic NiTi Functional Components by High-Precision Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process: The Critical Roles of Energy Density and Minimal Feature Size
by Shuo Qu, Liqiang Wang, Junhao Ding, Jin Fu, Shiming Gao, Qingping Ma, Hui Liu, Mingwang Fu, Yang Lu and Xu Song
Micromachines 2023, 14(7), 1436; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14071436 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM) was recently developed for building intricate devices in many fields. Especially for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), its high-precision manufacturing capability and adjustable process parameters are involved in tailoring the performance of functional components. NiTi is well-known as smart material [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing (AM) was recently developed for building intricate devices in many fields. Especially for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), its high-precision manufacturing capability and adjustable process parameters are involved in tailoring the performance of functional components. NiTi is well-known as smart material utilized widely in biomedical fields thanks to its unique superelastic and shape-memory performance. However, the properties of NiTi are extremely sensitive to material microstructure, which is mainly determined by process parameters in LPBF. In this work, we choose a unique NiTi intricate component: a robotic cannula tip, in which material superelasticity is a crucial requirement as the optimal object. First, the process window was confirmed by printing thin walls and bulk structures. Then, for optimizing parameters precisely, a Gyroid-type sheet triply periodic minimal-surface (G-TPMS) structure was proposed as the standard test sample. Finally, we verified that when the wall thickness of the G-TPMS structure is smaller than 130 μm, the optimal energy density changes from 167 J/m3 to 140 J/m3 owing to the lower cooling rate of thinner walls. To sum up, this work puts forward a novel process optimization methodology and provides the processing guidelines for intricate NiTi components by LPBF. Full article
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17 pages, 9229 KiB  
Article
Influence of Aging Treatment Regimes on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Selective Laser Melted 17-4 PH Steel
by Dongdong Dong, Jiang Wang, Chaoyue Chen, Xuchang Tang, Yun Ye, Zhongming Ren, Shuo Yin, Zhenyu Yuan, Min Liu and Kesong Zhou
Micromachines 2023, 14(4), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14040871 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Aging is indispensable for balancing the strength and ductility of selective laser melted (SLM) precipitation hardening steels. This work investigated the influence of aging temperature and time on the microstructure and mechanical properties of SLM 17-4 PH steel. The 17-4 PH steel was [...] Read more.
Aging is indispensable for balancing the strength and ductility of selective laser melted (SLM) precipitation hardening steels. This work investigated the influence of aging temperature and time on the microstructure and mechanical properties of SLM 17-4 PH steel. The 17-4 PH steel was fabricated by SLM under a protective argon atmosphere (99.99 vol.%), then the microstructure and phase composition after different aging treatments were characterized via different advanced material characterization techniques, and the mechanical properties were systematically compared. Coarse martensite laths were observed in the aged samples compared with the as-built ones, regardless of the aging time and temperature. Increasing the aging temperature resulted in a larger grain size of the martensite lath and precipitation. The aging treatment induced the formation of the austenite phase with a face-centered cubic (FCC) structure. With prolonged aging treatment, the volume fraction of the austenite phase increased, which agreed with the EBSD phase mappings. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and yield strength gradually increased with increasing aging times at 482 °C. The UTS reached its peak value after aging for 3 h at 482 °C, which was similar to the trend of microhardness (i.e., UTS = 1353.4 MPa). However, the ductility of the SLM 17-4 PH steel decreased rapidly after aging treatment. This work reveals the influence of heat treatment on SLM 17-4 steel and proposes an optimal heat-treatment regime for the SLM high-performance steels. Full article
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15 pages, 12948 KiB  
Article
Laser Powder Bed Fusion of 316L Stainless Steel: Effect of Laser Polishing on the Surface Morphology and Corrosion Behavior
by Jun Liu, Haojun Ma, Lingjian Meng, Huan Yang, Can Yang, Shuangchen Ruan, Deqin Ouyang, Shuwen Mei, Leimin Deng, Jie Chen and Yu Cao
Micromachines 2023, 14(4), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14040850 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
Recently, laser polishing, as an effective post-treatment technology for metal parts fabricated by laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), has received much attention. In this paper, LPBF-ed 316L stainless steel samples were polished by three different types of lasers. The effect of laser pulse [...] Read more.
Recently, laser polishing, as an effective post-treatment technology for metal parts fabricated by laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), has received much attention. In this paper, LPBF-ed 316L stainless steel samples were polished by three different types of lasers. The effect of laser pulse width on surface morphology and corrosion resistance was investigated. The experimental results show that, compared to the nanosecond (NS) and femtosecond (FS) lasers, the surface material’s sufficient remelting realized by the continuous wave (CW) laser results in a significant improvement in roughness. The surface hardness is increased and the corrosion resistance is the best. The microcracks on the NS laser-polished surface lead to a decrease in the microhardness and corrosion resistance. The FS laser does not significantly improve surface roughness. The ultrafast laser-induced micro-nanostructures increase the contact area of the electrochemical reaction, resulting in a decrease in corrosion resistance. Full article
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14 pages, 7307 KiB  
Article
Process Optimization and Tailored Mechanical Properties of a Nuclear Zr-4 Alloy Fabricated via Laser Powder Bed Fusion
by Changhui Song, Zhuang Zou, Zhongwei Yan, Feng Liu, Yongqiang Yang, Ming Yan and Changjun Han
Micromachines 2023, 14(3), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14030556 - 27 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1386
Abstract
A nuclear Zr-4 alloy with a near full density was fabricated via laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). The influences of process parameters on the printability, surface roughness, and mechanical properties of the LPBF-printed Zr-4 alloy were investigated. The results showed that the relative [...] Read more.
A nuclear Zr-4 alloy with a near full density was fabricated via laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). The influences of process parameters on the printability, surface roughness, and mechanical properties of the LPBF-printed Zr-4 alloy were investigated. The results showed that the relative density of the Zr-4 alloy samples was greater than 99.3% with the laser power range of 120–160 W and the scanning speed range of 600–1000 mm/s. Under a moderate laser power in the range of 120–140 W, the printed Zr-4 alloy possessed excellent surface molding quality with a surface roughness less than 10 µm. The microstructure of the printed Zr-4 alloy was an acicular α phase with an average grain size of about 1 µm. The Zr-4 alloy printed with a laser power of 130 W and a scanning speed of 400 mm/s exhibited the highest compression strength of 1980 MPa and the highest compression strain of 28%. The findings demonstrate the potential in the fabrication of complex Zr-4 alloy parts by LPBF for industrial applications. Full article
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15 pages, 4931 KiB  
Article
High Reflectivity and Thermal Conductivity Ag–Cu Multi-Material Structures Fabricated via Laser Powder Bed Fusion: Formation Mechanisms, Interfacial Characteristics, and Molten Pool Behavior
by Qiaoyu Chen, Yongbin Jing, Jie Yin, Zheng Li, Wei Xiong, Ping Gong, Lu Zhang, Simeng Li, Ruiqi Pan, Xiya Zhao and Liang Hao
Micromachines 2023, 14(2), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14020362 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2496
Abstract
Ag and Cu have different advantages and are widely used in key fields due to their typical highly electrical and thermal conductive (HETC) properties. Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), an innovative technology for manufacturing metallic multi-material components with high accuracy, has expanded the [...] Read more.
Ag and Cu have different advantages and are widely used in key fields due to their typical highly electrical and thermal conductive (HETC) properties. Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), an innovative technology for manufacturing metallic multi-material components with high accuracy, has expanded the application of Ag–Cu in emerging high-tech fields. In this study, the multi-material sandwich structures of Ag7.5Cu/Cu10Sn/Ag7.5Cu were printed using LPBF, and the formation mechanism, interface characteristics, and molten pool behavior of the Ag7.5Cu/Cu10Sn (A/C) and Cu10Sn/Ag7.5Cu (C/A) interfaces were studied to reveal the influence of different building strategies. At the A/C interface, pre-printed Ag7.5Cu promoted Marangoni turbulence at a relatively low energy density (EA/C = 125 J/mm3). Due to the recoil pressure, the molten pool at the A/C interface transformed from a stable keyhole mode to an unstable keyhole mode. These phenomena promoted the extensive migration of elements, forming a wider diffusion zone and reduced thermal cracking. At the C/A interface, the molten pool was rationed from the conduction mode with more pores to the transition mode with fewer defects due to the high energy density (EC/A = 187.5 J/mm3). This work offers a theoretical reference for the fabrication of HETC multi-material structures via LPBF under similar conditions. Full article
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Review

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25 pages, 11049 KiB  
Review
Four-Dimensional Micro/Nanorobots via Laser Photochemical Synthesis towards the Molecular Scale
by Yufeng Tao, Liansheng Lin, Xudong Ren, Xuejiao Wang, Xia Cao, Heng Gu, Yunxia Ye, Yunpeng Ren and Zhiming Zhang
Micromachines 2023, 14(9), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14091656 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1434
Abstract
Miniaturized four-dimensional (4D) micro/nanorobots denote a forerunning technique associated with interdisciplinary applications, such as in embeddable labs-on-chip, metamaterials, tissue engineering, cell manipulation, and tiny robotics. With emerging smart interactive materials, static micro/nanoscale architectures have upgraded to the fourth dimension, evincing time-dependent shape/property mutation. [...] Read more.
Miniaturized four-dimensional (4D) micro/nanorobots denote a forerunning technique associated with interdisciplinary applications, such as in embeddable labs-on-chip, metamaterials, tissue engineering, cell manipulation, and tiny robotics. With emerging smart interactive materials, static micro/nanoscale architectures have upgraded to the fourth dimension, evincing time-dependent shape/property mutation. Molecular-level 4D robotics promises complex sensing, self-adaption, transformation, and responsiveness to stimuli for highly valued functionalities. To precisely control 4D behaviors, current-laser-induced photochemical additive manufacturing, such as digital light projection, stereolithography, and two-photon polymerization, is pursuing high-freeform shape-reconfigurable capacities and high-resolution spatiotemporal programming strategies, which challenge multi-field sciences while offering new opportunities. Herein, this review summarizes the recent development of micro/nano 4D laser photochemical manufacturing, incorporating active materials and shape-programming strategies to provide an envisioning of these miniaturized 4D micro/nanorobots. A comparison with other chemical/physical fabricated micro/nanorobots further explains the advantages and potential usage of laser-synthesized micro/nanorobots. Full article
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