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4D Materials and Printing Laboratory

Unit(s) of assessment: General Engineering

School: School of Science and Technology


4D Materials (Smart Materials) are engineered materials that respond in a controllable way to external stimuli, such as stress, moisture, electric or magnetic fields, light, temperature, pH, or chemical compounds. The property changes can be leveraged to create actuators and/or sensors from the materials without any additional control or electronics required. 4D Printing involves the combination of smart materials and Additive Manufacturing technology to create shape-changing objects that are responsive to external stimuli.

The 4D Materials and Printing (4DMP) Laboratory is part of the Smart Materials research group, and is working in three main research areas:

4D Materials and Modelling: we conduct multiscale computational and experimental studies to expand the knowledge base of emerging smart materials like piezoelectric materials, shape memory materials, chromoactive materials, magnetorheological materials, photoactive materials, and composite structures at the nano, micro, and macroscales.

3D/4D Printing: we develop cutting-edge additive manufacturing technologies that provide an effective means from idea to reality with performance-driven functionality built into the 4D structures.

4D Design and Machine Learning: we leverage artificial intelligence capabilities and machine learning to turn tedious 3D/4D design and inspection processes into a sophisticated interaction between computer/printer and researcher/engineer.

The 4DMP Laboratory is the pioneering research lab in the UK providing state-of-the-art facilities for the teaching, research and development of novel smart materials and structures technologies, and 3D/4D printing smart devices for enhancing adaptability, functionality, and precision. The 4DMP Laboratory leads research addressing the challenges associated with smart device design and 3D/4D printing technologies and exploring potential applications in various sectors such as engineering, textiles, and healthcare.


    • 4DMP Lab is awarded NTU-PU partnership grant to collaborate with Panjab University on a novel project “4D printed Antenna”. NTU team members: Yang Wei, Mahdi Bodaghi, Ahmad Serjouei; PU team members: Amrinder Pal Singh, Rupinder Singh Khalsa, Rakesh Tuli.



Our team and national and international network of partners share knowledge, encourage student mobility exchanges, co-organise workshops/conferences and stimulate challenging and vibrant 4D materials and printing research communities. We offer a wide range of training, mobility and professional development opportunities that support researchers’ development and the achievement of their future goals.

As a multi-disciplinary team we work together on projects and foster a collaborative and synergistic environment between researchers and engineers, bringing together unique expertise to develop innovative technologies and systems and eventually its inclusion in marketable products.

Below is a list of our partners:

  • Changwon National University
  • Deakin University
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Southern University of Science and Technology
  • Tarbiat Modares University
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • University of Leeds
  • The Manufacturing Technology Centre
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • University of the West of England, Bristol




  • MohammadReza Lalegani
  • Victor Okenyi (Doctoral Researcher, 2nd Supervisor)


  • Rostam-Alilou, A.A., Jafari, H., Zolfagharian, A., Serjouei, A. and Bodaghi, M., 2021. Using Fibrincollagen Composite Hydrogel and Silk for Bio-inspired Design of Tympanic Membrane Grafts: A Vibro-acoustic Analysis. Composites Part C: Open Access, p.100205.

Related facilities

4DMP is based in the Engineering Building on our Clifton Campus.