This page is older archived content from an older version of the Emerald Publishing website.

As such, it may not display exactly as originally intended.

Functionally Graded Rapid Prototyping, 4D Printing and Self-Assemblies

Special issue call for papers from Assembly Automation

Banner image.

What is this Special Issue about?

Through advancements in material science and technology, a new trend in Additive Manufacturing is emerging. 3D Printing, when combined with time as the fourth dimension is known as "4D Printing". It is not about how long it takes to print a part, but the fact that it still continues to evolve after being built. Specific materials are chosen to harness the unique properties that activate the self-assembly process. For example, the expansion of water-absorbing material provides the energy to trigger a bending or twisting action that closes a cover.

We invite authors from academia and industry to submit papers for this Special Issue. We are seeking cutting-edge developments, concepts and practices in Functionally Graded Rapid Prototyping, 4D Printing & Self-Assemblies. We welcome conceptual, theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions that will enable a better understanding of the subject. This issue will collect recent original studies on new and significant research developments and examples of current best practices on how this knowledge has been transferred into a novel innovation or application. Authors may also explore the four elements that necessitate 4D Printing: the design of the geometry, specific material properties, types of stimuli, and the duration of time.

The themed issue (Vol. 38 No. 1) is expected to be published in January 2018. If you are interested in submitting a paper, the first step is to email a 100-word abstract to the Guest Editor, Dr Eujin Pei. Authors considering submissions should also present their work through a short video abstract.

Specific topics we invite you to provide submissions on:

 Functionally Graded Rapid Prototyping, 4D Printing and Self-Assemblies








  • Variable Property Rapid Prototyping
  • Time-based Additive Manufacturing
  • Advanced material fabrication
  • Multi-material printing
  • Automated processes and techniques
  • Active material adaptation, properties and solidification processes


  • Functionally Graded Materials and new material formulations
  • Meta-materials, digital materials and composite materials
  • Characterization of mechanical, electrical, chemical, biological performance
  • Testing and evaluation, emergence of standards

Applications & impact

  • Case studies of applications and self-assemblies
  • Industry best practices

Guidelines to Submit to this Special Issue

The deadline for submissions is 6th January 2017. Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication in any other journal. Submissions should be between 3,000 to 5,000 words and must be made using the ScholarOne Manuscript Central system. Submitted articles will be subject to a double-blind review by at least two referees and authors should not identify themselves in the body of the paper.

When submitting, you will be asked to specify whether the manuscript is for a normal issue of the journal or for the Special Issue. Please select the Special Issue option. Dr Pei has edited Special Issues in the past for Rapid Prototyping Journal and Design for All. His experience ensures a timely, effective and professional completion of the review process.

For more details visit the journal homepage and consult the author guidelines. Please address all questions to the Guest Editor, Dr Eujin Pei.

Timeline for the Special Issue

  • Call for Special Issue opens: 29th July 2015
  • Submission deadline: 6th January 2017
  • Papers reviewed: 30th April 2017
  • Revised papers accepted: 30th June 2017
  • Submission of video abstract: 30th June 2017
  • Final versions of accepted papers delivered to production: 3rd October 2017
  • Final versions of video abstract: 3rd October 2017
  • Target completion date: 31 November 2017
  • Date of publication: January 2018

About the Guest Editor

Dr Pei's research interests centre on Additive Manufacture and Functionally Graded Rapid Prototyping. He is a full-time academic at Brunel University London in the United Kingdom. He was a Research Fellow at leading institutions including Loughborough University, Brunel University and the University of Southampton; and was a Visiting Scientist at Vaal University of Technology and the Central University of Technology. He is the Convenor for the International Standards Organisation (ISO) Technical Committee (ISO TC261/WG4) for Data and Design Guidelines for Additive Manufacture and a committee member of the British Standards Institution (BSI) AMT/8 Group for Additive Manufacture.

Eujin is also a Chartered Technological Product Designer and a Member of the Institution of Engineering Designers. He is the Associate Editor for the Assembly Automation Journal with a track record of generating new knowledge and finding solutions for a significant impact in industry. His productive research capabilities are supported by a keen ability to secure funding; and he welcomes opportunities for joint PhD supervision, industry projects and multidisciplinary partnerships.