Printing Parameters of Fused Filament Fabrication Affect Key Properties of Four-Dimensional Printed Shape-Memory Polymers

Katy Pieri, Bailey M. Felix, Teng Zhang, Pranav Soman, James H. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Extrusion-based (fused filament fabrication) three-dimensional (3D) printing of shape-memory polymers (SMPs) has the potential to rapidly produce highly customized smart-material parts. Yet, the effects of printing parameters on the shape-memory properties of printed SMPs remain poorly understood. To study the extent to which the 3D printing process affects the shape-memory properties of a printed SMP part, here temperature, extrusion rate multiplier, and fiber orientation were systematically varied, and their effect on shape-memory fixing and recovery ratios was evaluated. Fiber orientation, as determined by print path relative to the direction(s) of loading during shape-memory programming, was found to significantly impact the fixing ratio and the recovery ratio. Temperature and multiplier had little effect on either fixing ratio or recovery ratio. To facilitate the use of printed SMP parts in biomedical applications, a cell viability assay was performed on 3D-printed samples prepared using varied temperature and multiplier. Reduction in multiplier was found to increase cell viability. The results indicate that fiber orientation can critically impact the shape-memory functionality of 3D-printed SMP parts, and that multiplier can affect cytocompatibility of those parts. Thus, researchers and manufacturers employing SMPs in 3D-printed parts and devices could achieve improved part functionality if print paths are designed to align fiber direction with the axis(es) in which strain will be programmed and recovered and if the multiplier is optimized in biomedical applications in which a part will contact cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
Journal3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • SMP MM-4520
  • shape fixing ratio
  • shape recovery ratio
  • thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Printing Parameters of Fused Filament Fabrication Affect Key Properties of Four-Dimensional Printed Shape-Memory Polymers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this