One-dimensional nanomaterials have attracted a great deal of research interest in the past few decades due to their unique mechanical, electrical and optical properties. Changing the shape of nanowires is a big challenge, but remains key for realistic applications of nanowires. Here we report a general technique to flexibly form nanowires into different shapes by making use of laser shock pressure. Controllable deformation is induced into nanowires in a similar manner as traditional metal forming. Shaping of silver nanowires is demonstrated, during which the Ag nanowires exhibit very good ductility (strain to failure is larger than 1). The microstructure observation indicates that the main deformation mechanism in Ag nanowires under dynamic loading is controlled by twinning and stacking fault formation. Dislocation motion and pile-up is still operative but less important. Our method provides a simple, unique, and one-step approach in massive forming and machining nanowires.

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