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4D Printing Research Group

The 4D Printing Research Group seeks to conduct activities associated with the use of Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) processes and programmable materials with the goal of developing new applications. Additive Manufacturing allows complex and freeform parts to be produced with the use of stimuli-responsive materials that have the ability to change their shape. The 4th dimension is Time, allowing parts to have two states of configuration. 4D Printing is a multi-disciplinary subject, covering aspects of Computer-Aided-Design, simulation, mathematics, material selection, effects of stimuli and production methods. Our group comprises of Doctoral Researchers, Postdoctoral Researchers and Visiting Academics working in tandem. Please contact us through eujin.pei@brunel.ac.uk

Research Group Leader

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Dr Eujin Pei leads the 4D Printing Research Group. He is the Director for Postgraduate Research, and Programme Director for the BSc Product Design Engineering course. He chairs the British Standards Institute AMT/8 Committee for Additive Manufacturing; and is the Convenor for the International Organisation for Standardisation ISO/TC261/WG4 that develops global Standards for Additive Manufacturing Data and Design; and Convenor for ISO/TC261/JG67 for Functionally Graded Additive Manufacturing. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the Progress in Additive Manufacturing Journal (Springer), Associate Editor for Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing (Springer) and Associate Editor for Assembly Automation Journal (Emerald). He is an Editorial Board Member for Rapid Prototyping Journal (Emerald) and Member of the Editorial Board for International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing (Inderscience). In 2019, he published a book titled "Additive Manufacturing - Developments in Training and Education - Best Practices, Challenges and Opportunities” (ISBN: 978-3-319-76083-4) with Springer Nature. Eujin is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Chartered Technological Product Designer (CTPD). In 2020, Eujin was appointed as Co-Opted Council Member of the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). His academic profile can be viewed via: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/people/eujin-pei

Research Focus

  •     Computer-Aided-Design, Simulation and Interfaces for 4D Printing;
  •     Functionally Graded Additive Manufacturing; Additive Manufacturing Processes for 4D Printing;
  •     Mechanical Metamaterials; Programmable Materials and Stimuli-Responsive Materials for 4D Printing;
  •     Mathematical Modelling; Predictive Computational Analysis for 4D Printing;
  •     Artificial Intelligence; Generative Design for 4D Printing;
  •     Applications for 4D Printing.

PhD Research Topics

Enquiries are very welcome for Joint supervision, industry partnerships and collaborative research opportunities. Please contact us through eujin.pei@brunel.ac.uk Potential PhD research topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. Extending knowledge - Principles of Design for 4D Printing (Df4DP); Knowledge-based Repositories for 4D Printing;
  2. Creating new interfaces - Interactive Computer Aided Design Interfaces for 4D Printing; Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality Interfaces for 4D Printing;
  3. Exploring aspects of manufacture - Structural Integrity of 4D Printed Parts; Intelligent Surfaces and Textures for 4D Printing;
  4. Developing models - Artificial Intelligence algorithms for 4D Printing; Mathematical Models and Predictive Analysis for 4D Printing;
  5. Looking at new applications - 4D Printed Actuators; Aerodynamic Surfaces.

Group Membership

The 4D Printing Research Group welcomes new members. We are a multi-disciplinary team and look forward to working with you on projects and for academic exchanges. We have ongoing collaborative partnerships with academia and the industry. Please contact us through eujin.pei@brunel.ac.uk

Current Members
Design for 4D Printing Dr Eujin Pei (Group Leader)
Functionally Graded Additive Manufacturing Dr Israt Kabir (Post Doc)
Finite Element Analysis & Composites Dr Adeayo Sotayo (Post Doc)                           
Communication & Design for 4D Printing Ezrin Faten Azhar
Computer-Aided-Design & Simulation for 4D Printing Seokwoo Nam
Intelligent Textile Application for 4D Printing Giselle Hsiang Loh
Material Properties, Tactile Interfaces James Burchill
Wind Turbine Generators Edvard Schroeder
Artificial Intelligence Zakaria Najmi
Visiting Researchers
Bio-engineering Applications for 4D Printing Daniela Ribeiro (UFABC)                                  
Computer-Aided-Design & Simulation for 4D Printing Dr Rubén Paz Hernández (ULPGC)
Supervised Doctoral Researchers for extended topics / Postdocs / Alumni
Computer-Aided-Design & Data Transfer Dr Malte Ressin (Post Doc)
Bio-engineering Applications for 4D Printing Peter Booth
User Interface & Simulation for 4D Printing Insik Chung
Security Applications for 4D Printing Alex Francis
Aerospace Applications for 4D Printing Jinghua Li
Human Factors Dr Lulu Yin
Medical Applications Dr Thomas Stead
Sustainable Design Dr Aine Petrulaityte (2nd Supervisor)
3D Printed Capacitors Dr Milad Areir (2nd Supervisor)
Medical Applications Dr Jerry Tagang (2nd Supervisor)

Examples of Projects

Alex Francis developed a novel security key system as a tamper-proof seal. The fully working mechanical prototype was built from scratch. Central to this project was the use of specially treated 4D Printed material in which a specific temperature would be required to disengage the lock. The use of 3D Printing could allow for an infinite number of shapes to be randomly generated so that no single key would be exact. This project was undertaken in collaboration with BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Alex graduated in 2017. First supervisor: Eujin Pei 222
Jinghua Li experimented with the use of the shape memory effect of 4D printed parts to design a self-locking wing system in which a single printed part can perform transformations without the need for actuators and linkages. This allows weight and space to be saved, thereby simplifying the overall structure of the drone. The fully working mechanical prototype was built from scratch. This project was undertaken in collaboration with BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Jinghua graduated in 2018. First supervisor: Eujin Pei 111
The aim of this project was to develop, process and experiment with thermoplastic polyurethane as a shape memory material. We ascertained the properties of this material through extrusion-based additive manufacturing processes and produce parts for testing. The results showed that the characteristics of the 3D printed parts successfully retain the property of the shape memory and the recovery force allows this to be utilised as a mechanical actuator. The recovery stress has been recorded to be between 0.45 and 0.61 MPa (at feed rate 990 mm/min). The maximum level of recovery stress is similar to the same material being processed through conventional compression moulding. Lastly, we designed and produced a coil as an actuator to demonstrate that the same material can be extended to other applications.  333

Where to find us

Our research office is in Michael Sterling Building and lab facilities located in Tower A. We share our specialist lab equipment with other research groups and collaborate with the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Experimental Techniques Centre.

Contact us

Enquiries are very welcome from those who are keen to pursue postgraduate studies or research degrees regarding Additive Manufacturing, 4D Printing and Design. Please contact us through eujin.pei@brunel.ac.uk

Site updated: 26 May 2020 / Credit for image banner: https://uvebtech.com/wp-content/uploads/3D-printing.jpg