4D Printing

4D Printing
Skylar Tibbitz,Self-Assembly lab, MIT

The way we build our structures has become more and more sophisticated. But the materials we build them from
are static, waiting for us to fit them to the required shape. 3D printing of today normally stops when it‘s printed .
It´s static objects that are meant to be used as they were printed.
The emerging technology of 4D printing – where 3D-printed material changes shape over time – means we may
be able to build things that can adapt to our use or the environment around them, says MIT’s Skylar Tibbits. At
the Self Assemly lab, MIT, Skylar has together with his researchers been able to develop smart materials. Materials
that has a capability of embedded transformation from one shape to another, directly off the print-bed without
the reliance on complex electro-mechanical devices. When the various materials are exposed to energy they start
to react.
In the future manufacturing can be more responding and growing instead of forcing and pounding things together
with screwdrivers and expensive machines that bruit force the way thing some togheter. We might be able to use
other energy sources to make things come together, for example: heat, shaking, gravity and sound.
Tibbits believes this technology could lead to more resilient, lighter structures – ones

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