Automobile and Aerospace, Available technologies, Engineering, Machines


Moldless technique of 4D printing of composites reduces considerably the cost of manufacturing a certain number of long and continuous fiber composite structures.

Challenge in moldless composites manufacturing

  • Producing composites structures having complex geometries is needed
  • Complex molds used are very expensive
  • Making very large structures is not possible with actual technologies
  • Materials with special characteristics responding to an activating agent need to be used
  • 3D printing is used to make structures of complex geometries

Technique of manufacturing of the 4D printing of composites

  • Combination of 3D printing of flat layers and self-reconfiguration of the structure upon curing and cooling
  • Producing of composite structures with complex shape without the need for complex molds (moldless)
  • Deposing of flat stacks of layers of continuous fiber composites on each other
  • Reconfiguring of the flat stack into the complex, curved structures subsequent to the curing process
  • Only flat molds are required to make the complex, curved composite structures
  • Technology developed by prof. Suong Van Hoa (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Concordia University)

Advantages of the moldless composites manufacturing of 4D printing

  • Making curved composite structures in moldless methode
  • Combine regions of the composite structures to have different degree of reconfiguration
  • Reduce the cost of manufacturing a certain number of long and continuous fiber composite structures
  • Produce unique capabilities such as actuators or grappers
  • Designing composite structure such that it changes its shape corresponding to changes in temperature, or moisture

Interesting market applications in composites with complex structures

  • Automotive composite leaf springs
  • Space applications with large fluctuation of temperature from 150 C° to -150 C° over a cycle of 24 hours
  • Wind turbine blades

Business opportunity

  • US patent application 16,041,009
  • CA patent application 3,012,149
  • Technology available for licensing


If you are interested by this technology, please contact :
Jean-Philippe Valois, Director Business Development, Engineering, (514) 575-0425


Concordia University

Main inventors

Suong Van Hoa


Suong Van Hoa

Professor and Director of CONCOM

Dr. Suong Van Hoa has been working on composites materials and structures since 1979. He has worked on many aspects of composites, from analysis, design, to manufacturing and development of new materials and structures made of composites. He has been working with many companies and institutions from many countries. Dr. Hoa established the Concordia Center for Composites (CONCOM) since 1983 and it was accepted by the board of Governors of Concordia University since 1993. Dr. Hoa has been Director of CONCOM since 1993. Dr. Hoa was given the title of Concordia University Research Fellow in 2006. He was appointed Concordia University Research Chair in Materials and Composites since 2001. He has been Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Industrial Chair in Automated Composites Manufacturing since 2012. This NSERC chair is supported by Bombardier Aerospace, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd., Emergia Aerospace, Composites Atlantic and Delastek Ltd. Dr. Hoa is Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Fellow of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.