Simulation tool software for 4D Printing



In 4D printing technology or by means usage of Shape-memory alloy (non-metal, iron based, copper based or NiTi material) for 3D printing.

Is there any simulation tool software which i can use to simulate those material change behavior in respect to time? (for e.g when introduce with change in humidity or change in temperature)

Note: It would be best if the simulation tools targeted if for automotive parts (power train, cooling system, interior & exterior etc).

Best Regards


Posted 2016-10-17T15:51:21.283

Reputation: 61

2I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is asking for recommendations of a simulation tool – Trish – 2018-12-24T08:35:11.690



I am going to say that this probably is a whole dimension out of scope for this group ;-)

That said this new type of 3d printing is still at the University level. Also 4d is not necessarily 3d printing related at all. All it has to be is self assembling. IE

Unless you have a connect with MIT. Then you aren't going to be simulating any 4d models.

But if you HAD to do this, then you should write a paper about it and become a researcher. You could get published. You might need a PHD in material science. There might be some simulation in solid works.. but I would say you are mostly on your own and have to develop the models as they simply do not exist, especially outside of academia and stratasys.

That said if you take the "4d" part and use models based on the current understanding of the raw material you would have more success.


Posted 2016-10-17T15:51:21.283

Reputation: 2 913

Dear StarWind, thank you for your reply. I quite aware that this topic is out of this group scope. But, i am quite desperate to find communities discussing this topic. Well, as you mention – glwilliam – 2016-10-19T13:10:31.437

that the resources very limited. I kind want to ask a help from communities or maybe from some of person that may knew or has experience on this field. – glwilliam – 2016-10-19T13:15:06.460

1and YES, i have to do this :-) Btw, thanks for your advise. If found several keyword how i should proceed.. – glwilliam – 2016-10-19T13:49:45.157


If there is simulation software for this it is likely proprietary and not being distributed at this point. The materials themselves that are capable of self assembly (4D) are still in experimental development, and this there is not really anything to simulate. A simulation needs the properties of the materials that will be used, but these materials do not exist in mass production, they are still being custom made in labs.


Posted 2016-10-17T15:51:21.283

Reputation: 417

thanks for you reply. i think so too. so in the mean time, i will stuck in solidworks, and Labview. i kinda hoping i can have beta test software from Project Cyborg.. – glwilliam – 2016-10-27T10:16:41.563


(preface : I originally intent to write this as a comment, but the volume limit reached. In that tone, I'll utilize this answer space writing it..)

to simulate those material change behavior in respect to time?

COMSOL, ANSYS or equivalent ring a bell to be.. as long as you have the material properties (young's modulus, density, thermal transport & expansion properties, color?) right.

Also. depending on your actual implementation resolution (nano-scale production.. macro/mini-lego sized assembly), you may want to adjust the mesh size for the finite element method solver.

software for 4D Printing

If your 4th D refers to time.. then the discussion ends here.

If your 4th D is a space (not time) dimension.. Then you need to convert your 4D geometric object into a 3D shadow (just like generating the normal 2D shadow from a 3D geometric object) 1st to proceed. just like an 3D object (eg cube) can have multiple equivalent 2D form (or shadow). The same applies for 4D to 3D. Once you get the 3D coordinates of the chosen 3D form, you may print it as usual.

Software wise.. mathematica (are used in the some of the example I've seen, others unknown/selfcoded) or equivalent will do.. but the key here is not the software.. it's the visualization algorithm. If you can get the "shadowing" algorithm done right, any 3D/math software will do.

p/s : I didn't expect the materials modelling question coming when I read the title (I really thought this question refers to extra space dimension) .. but yeah.. why not. It's a good postgraduate/research topic to take on. ( :


Posted 2016-10-17T15:51:21.283

Reputation: 99