HIBRID4D is an ambitious program named "Research and Development of 4D Printing Technology for multimaterial and multifunctional processing with embedded electronics and sensors" The aim of this project will be, creating intelligent parts and devices with implants of electronics and sensors. This research project is based in the so-called four-dimensional printing (4D) that has recently originated from 3D printing within a fourth dimension: Time; and involves printing with smart materials that can respond to external inciting.

Since October last year, five leading Spanish companies in the sector have combined the knowledge and experience required to guarantee the success of HIBRID4D in terms of technology, materials and final applications.  The companies involved in the project are: BCN3DEDSER LABSSENSING TEXHERGAR and SMART MATERIALS 3D, this last one is the only Andalusian company partaker.  There is still a year and a half to go to continue advancing in the development of the project, which also has the external collaboration of technology centers such as AIMPLAS (Centro Tecnológico del Plástico – Technological Center of Plastic), CIM UPC (Centro Tecnológico de la Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña – Technological Center of the Catalunya Polytechnical University) and CTCR (Centro Tecnológico del Calzado de La Rioja – Technological Shoe Center of the region of La Rioja).


Smart Materials 3D participates as a developer and manufacturer of thermoplastic materials for additive manufacturing specialized in intelligent materials, specifically TPU's with very low hardness below 80 A on the Shore scale, with electrical and magnetic conductive properties. The aim is develop devices with shape memory as a final product, specifically smart devices through 4D printing with integrated sensors for medical applications, such as shoe soles and orthoses for monitoring patients, in Soft Robotics with integrated sensors, for example to relieve pressure in patients in wheelchairs, wheels and tread monitoring in smart footwear, among others.


4D printing is a new technology, with great potential for automation and simplification of production processes and great impact on Industry 4.0, which allows the creation of applications in unusual environments due to its great customization and absence of mechanical elements. They have a great potential in the medical field, but also in the industrial field where the Soft Robotics will allow it to adapt to the conditions of the environment and interact with it. Advances in printable smart materials, mathematical models, and printing technologies will enable 4D printing for further improvement of surgical treatments, soft robotics, and other unthinkable fields of engineering.


HIBRID4D is part of the announcement called "MISSIONS" that belongs to the CDTI (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial – Technological Center for the Industrial Development) that deals with an advanced technological solution for the development of materials and has automated flexible manufacturing processes to promote Spanish industry in the industrial revolution of the 21st century, represents a strong and determined commitment to R&D as an element of innovation that will allow further progress in new developments in additive manufacturing. The complementarity of the group's activities, are an ideal combination to successfully undertake research and position the participating companies as international benchmarks.

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