Strong, stretchable, and durable biomaterials with shape memory properties can be useful in different biomedical devices, tissue engineering, and soft robotics. However, it is challenging to combine these features. Semi-crystalline polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) has been used to make hydrogels by conventional methods such as freeze-thaw and chemical crosslinking, but it is formidable to produce strong materials with adjustable properties. Herein, a method to induce crystallinity and produce physically crosslinked PVA hydrogels via applying high-concentration sodium hydroxide into dense PVA polymer is introduced. Such a strategy enables the production of physically crosslinked PVA biomaterial with high mechanical properties, low water content, resistance to injury, and shape memory properties. It is also found that the developed PVA hydrogel can recover 90% of plastic deformation due to extension upon supplying water, providing a strong contraction force sufficiently to lift objects 1100 times more than their weight. Cytocompatibility, antifouling property, hemocompatibility, and biocompatibility are also demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. The fabrication methods of PVA-based catheters, injectable electronics, and microfluidic devices are demonstrated. This gelation approach enables both layer-by-layer and 3D printing fabrications.