5D printing

After reading the word 5D printing, most guys think what the hell is going on? How does one dimension get added to the new technology of printing? Today we need different and advanced technologies to make the final product more efficient with less manufacturing time. And 5D Printing is the best example. It has more advantages than 3D Printing. In this article, we will have all information about this printing technology.

Overview of 3D, 4D & 5D printing.

A few years ago, the world gets aware of 3d printing technology. It is an invention in the printing industry. In 3d printing, the object becomes stationary & the printing tool moves on three axes to create an object. With the help of the computerized CAD model, the object is created.

In most sectors, the use of 3d printing technology is tremendous. It makes products with minimum time, with good efficiency, with good quality & having many advantages. Due to that world get habitual of 3d printing technology.

Now, 3d printing is used in the manufacturing industries for making components. Simple and complicated components can be manufactured. In automobile industries, the use of 3d printing is common. It is used for creating metal, rubber & plastic objects. Also, it is used in creating homes by using the concrete mixture as a material.

In recent years, the innovation of 4D printing is a new milestone. The use of 4D printing is more in the healthcare industry due to the use of many related applications.

But 4D printing is slightly different from 3D printing. The 4D-printed object can change its color, function, and shape when it comes in contact with an external medium like flux, magnetic field & electricity, etc. 

Shape Memory Polymer, Shape Memory Alloys, Self-assembled materials, biomaterials & Hydrophilic polymers are 4D printing materials. These materials only have the quality required for creating 4D-printed objects.

But, the main fact is that roots of the 4D & 5D printing are 3D printing. The concept of 3D printing helps most people to do innovation & develop advanced printing technology.

In this article, we will see in detail the new technology of printing and 5d printers.

What is 5D printing? How does a 5D printer work?

The concept of 5D printing is first implemented by the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab (MERL). William Yerazunis (Senior Principal Research Scientist) explained that, in 5D printing, the object is built with the help of five different axes that will help for creating a complicated object with good strength.

The name 5D Printing comes from the five-axis used for creating objects. In this printing, the printing head can move in x, y & z-direction(axis) and, the printing bed is capable of moving in 2 directions (axis). The print head & printing bed can move simultaneously while printing.

The product is made by the horizontal layer by layer. So, concave & convex parts can become easy to make with high accuracy & concerning design constraints.

Official video of the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab for five-axis additive manufacturing (5D Printing & 5D Printer)

Five Axis Additive Manufacturing Guide Video.

Which part has good strength, 3D printed or 5D printed object?

In the 3D printing process, curved parts of the objects are created by flat horizontal layers. Due to flat horizontal layers, it forms some weak points. If these objects are forced in the opposite direction of the layers created, there are maximum chances to get them to break.

But in 5D Printing, curved parts of the objects are not printed in the horizontal layers. Instead of horizontal layers, the printing bed adjusts in the horizontal position. Due to that curved layers can prevent the formation of weak points on the profile of the object.

William Yerazunis & his colleague did one experiment to prove which part has better strength. For that experiment, they made the same cap with a CAD model & printed the same part in 3D or 5D printing.

For making both the parts, they have used the same plastic, the same spool & same machine. On the 3D-printed object, they applied 0.1 MPa pressure & it broke within a second. But, as compared to the 3D-printed object, 5D printed object sustained 3.7 MPa of pressure.

This experiment proves that the 5D printed object has higher strength than a 3D printed object. Also, they prove that it requires 25% less material as compared to the 3D Printing process.  

Applications of 5D printing

1- Dentistry

With the help of 5D printing, some of the surgery equipment like dentures, dental implants, and other devices are complicated in shape and are manufactured.

Also, a tooth that has curved shapes & curved parts is made accurately with the required surface finish & reliability. The strength needed for the equipment is higher & it can be possible with this technology only. 

2- Orthopedic surgery

For manufacturing of human body parts require exact accuracy & good strength. Because these parts are needed use inside your body. So, it is necessary to have proper shape & size.

This technology is useful for manufacturing artificial bones with excellent strength. Because curved parts are manufactured with good accuracy & required surface finish.

Other objects that are complicated in shape are not able to be manufactured with 3D printing. It can be manufactured with 5D printing.

3- Prosthetics

For making artificial body parts, the use of 5D printing technology is common. In today’s time, when someone lost a leg, hand, fingers, jaws & other parts of the body in an accident then, prosthetics are used in their place. 

As we know, these kinds of parts require more strength. These artificial body parts are frequently used for their respective applications. So high strength is acquired by this 5d printer technology.

4- Surgical equipment

It is a very sensitive field of manufacturing surgical equipment. We do require high cutting accuracy, sharp edges for cutting, good strength to bear the force applied & proper shapes. This technology is fulfilling these kinds of requirements.

Good ergonomics & aesthetics of the equipment help surgeon grip it in a proper manner. It improves accuracy and reduces the chances of accidents.

Manufacturing of Monopolar diathermy, DeBakey forceps, mosquito forceps & Deaver retractor by using this technology.

5- Construction & automobile components

The strength required for the construction & automobile component is higher as compared to the other component. These types of products are always used for heavy applications & stress on it is more. So it is necessary to have good strength.

So, 5d printing is useful in the manufacturing of houses with curved designs & complex parts.

Difference between 3D, 4D & 5D printing.

Description3D Printing4D printing5D printing
DefinitionProcess of manufacturing of 3d object by CAD model by adding print material layer by layer.A 3D-printed object may change its shape when external agents like light, and heat are applied to it.The object created by using 5 axis 3D Printer
Invented byChuck HullMIT Professor Skylar TibbetWilliam Yerazunis from Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab
Raw MaterialPLA, ABS, Polycarbonate, Nylon, CarbonHydrogel, Shape Memory Polymer (SMP), Shape memory alloy (SMA)PLA, ABS, Polycarbonate, Nylon, Carbon, Metal, On-metal
Printing HeadMovableIt is MovableMovable
Printing BaseStationaryStationaryMovable
Degree of Freedom335
Printed ObjectStaticDynamicStatic

Advantages over 3D printing.

  1. It can create a curved layer object with great strength.
  2. 5D Printed parts are five times stronger as compared to 3D & 4D Printed objects.
  3. Use for creating a complex prototype in the medical field as well as in the automobile.
  4. 5D printing objects have a higher life span.
  5. Possible to make a Complex object with 25% less material.

Disadvantages over 3D printing.

  1. The extra cost required for the 2 more-axis required for the printing bed.
  2. Require highly skilled resources to develop ping & maintain 5D Printer.

Future approach to the Printing industry.

3D, 4D & 5D Printing are the starting roots of additive manufacturing. These are the starting invention of the printing industry. By using these printing technologies we are achieving so much accuracy in manufacturing. It makes it possible to make complicated parts with high strength.

In the future, there will be more advancements possible in the printing industry. Advanced technology will help to make components faster, with more accuracy & efficiency. Let’s see which advancement will happen in the printing industry.


5D printing fulfills the drawback of 3D & 4D printing. It’s having high strength & able to make curved & complex parts. Researchers are researching this technology to increase its capacity to withstand pressure up to 3.4 Mpa.

So that it is useful in high-pressure applications in the medical & manufacturing industries. It reduces by 20 to 30% of wastage. In the future, this technology widely used in all the subsectors of the medical due to its various advantages. 

Have a look at the official 5d printing account on Twitter.

Frequently asked questions on 5D Printing.

What are 4D & 5D Printing?

The process of 4D Printing is the same as 3D printing. But the only difference is that it uses a special kind of material to create an object. In the additive manufacturing (5D Printing) process, the printing head and bed are movable to create objects.

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