David Schmelzeisen studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen University. He started to focus on textiles and textile engineering and received the Master of Science degree in textile engineering. Before he supported research in the field of smart textiles at the Institut für Textiltechnik at RWTH Aachen University. Furthermore he developed electronic sensor systems for the integration into textiles at the ETH Zurich. During his PhD he started researching on production technologies for smart textiles and is focusing on hybrid 4D printing technologies.
Looking to the fourth dimension, the time, enables a completely new kind of designing materials. A new range of textile-based products will be developed, which allow changing their shape and functionality over the time, 4D Textiles. Self-folding is defined as an intrinsic mechanism, which allows a physical change of the element’s shape without any external support or control. To change the shape and with it the function of a component, an external actuation is no longer required. These new 4D textiles are achieved by the complex interaction between hybrid materials and by the use of external stimulus. A lot of applications can profit based on this new development, e. g. the construction sector, medical applications, mobility solutions and soft robotics.