New publication: DLP 4D Printing of Multi-Responsive Bilayered Structures

June 22, 2023 / sä

Authors: Philipp Mainik, Li-Yun Hsu, Claudius W. Zimmer, Dominik Fauser, Holger Steeb, Eva Blasco (Heidelberg University)
[Picture: © PantherMedia / Karsten Ehlers]

Eva Blasco from the Cluster of Excellence 3D Matter Made to Order and Holger Steeb, PI in the Cluster of Excellence SimTech, publish a joint paper in the renowned journal "Advanced Materials and Technolgies" on

DLP 4D Printing of Multi-Responsive Bilayered Structures

The joint publication brings together the expertise of both Clusters of Excellence and is a preliminary work for the new RTG 2948 “Mixed Ionic-Electronic Transport: From Fundamentals to Applications” that was established at the beginning of June 2023 at Heidelberg University and University of Stuttgart.


  • Philipp Mainik (Heidelberg University)
  • Li-Yun Hsu (Heidelberg University)
  • Claudius W. Zimmer (Heidelberg University)
  • Dominik Fauser (University of Stuttgart)
  • Holger Steeb (SC SimTech, University of Stuttgart)
  • Eva Blasco (Heidelberg University)


Advances in soft robotics strongly rely on the development and manufacturing of new responsive soft materials. In particular, light-based 3D printing techniques, and especially, digital light processing (DLP), offer a versatile platform for the fast manufacturing of complex 3D/4D structures with a high spatial resolution. In this work, DLP all-printed bilayered structures exhibiting reversible and multi-responsive behavior are presented for the first time. For this purpose, liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are used as active layers and combined with a printable non-responsive elastomer acting as a passive layer. Furthermore, selective light response is incorporated by embedding various organic dyes absorbing light at different regimes in the active layers. An in-depth characterization of the single materials and printed bilayers demonstrates a reversible and selective response. Last, the versatility of the approach is shown by DLP printing a bilayered complex 3D structure consisting of four different materials (a passive and three different LCE active materials), which exhibit different actuation patterns when irradiated with different wavelengths of light.

First published: 17 June 2023

Advanced Materials Technologies is the new home for all technology-related materials applications research, with particular focus on advanced device design, fabrication and integration, as well as new technologies based on novel materials. It bridges the gap between fundamental laboratory research and industry. Advanced Materials Technologies has a 2021 Journal Impact Factor of 8.856 (Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics, 2022)). Topics covered include energy, healthcare, electronics, optics, microfluidics, sensors, food safety, and environmental technologies.

Read the publication here.

To the top of the page