Once we can control any material—from metal to wood to plastic—static objects will become a thing of the past.
Plants moving toward the sun, proteins folding into complex structures in response to their surroundings, molecules stacking themselves together to form a crystal. No external machinery directs these functions. Instead, the structure and shape is embedded in the material properties themselves—a wonder of the natural world.
One day, we may create materials to respond to their environments in similar ways, unlocking a new realm of possibilities for building and design: technologies, products, and infrastructure that are adaptable, efficient, and less prone to costly errors. Imagine smart materials that deliver drugs inside your body just when they’re needed, furniture that assembles itself at your house, or car tires that alter their grip when the road is wet.
“We believe it’s now possible to program nearly every material to change shape and properties,” says Skylar Tibbits, director of MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory. Code, he says, will become the “language of materials” in the same way it is the language of machines today.
Tibbits, an architect-turned-computer scientist-turned-mad designer, is at the forefront of popularizing the idea that smarter materials—as much, if not more than, ever-more-complicated machines—will shape the physical world of the future. In a 2013 TED Talk, he introduced a part of this vision by calling it 4-D printing (i.e., 3-D printing with the addition of the dimension of time). Since then, he’s been working to make the idea a reality using real-world materials that manufacturers and product designers use today: wood, textiles, carbon fiber, and more.
An example might help you understand the concept. Tibbits has created a composite wood material that he can 3-D print in flat sheets with customized grains. Depending on the grain pattern, the wood will fold in different ways when water is added. One day, you could get a chair flat-packed shipped, and it could fold itself on arrival.
Research like this is at an early stage, but to Hod Lipson, director of Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab, it represents a new frontier for product design and manufacturing. First, he says, we’ve created the ability to control the shape of a material via 3-D printers, but one day, we’ll be able to control the properties of materials themselves and, eventually, how those materials behave.
The Latest on: 4-D printing
via Google News
The Latest on: 4-D printing
- Global Military 3D & 4D Printing Market is Projected to Reach US$11,735.5 Million by 2031 : Visiongain Research Incon September 1, 2021 at 10:46 am
Global Military 3D & 4D Printing Market Forecast 2021-2031: - by Material (Plastic, Metal, Ceramic, Others), By Application (Airborne, Land, Naval). Plus analysis of leading regional/national markets ...
- New space, new applications: Sintavia CEO on 3D printing and rocket buildingon September 1, 2021 at 8:53 am
TCT Head of Content Laura Griffiths speaks to Sintavia's Brian Neff about additive manufacturing's growing role in the space sector.
- Massivit 3D opens Americas Experience Centeron September 1, 2021 at 7:25 am
The Atlanta-based facility will showcase Massivit 3D’s large-scale 3D printers, live demos and will serve the North America and Latin America regions.
- Tasteless Channel 4 print ads get pulled (and we're not at all shocked)on September 1, 2021 at 6:31 am
Look, we get it – print ads are often meant to make the viewer double-take. Which is all well and good, as long as it's for the right reasons. But it's a fine line between simply shocking and ...
- Cathie Wood Furthers Bet On These 3D Printing Stocks; Pfizer, Peloton, Alibaba, Google Are Other Key Trades From Mondayon August 31, 2021 at 2:57 am
Cathie Wood-led investment firm Ark Invest on Monday snapped up shares in 3D Systems Corp (NYSE: DDD) and Nano Dimension Ltd (NASDAQ: NNDM), further lifting its exposure in the 3D printing ...
- Marines 3D-print headcap for mine clearing line chargeon August 30, 2021 at 2:42 pm
Marines 3D-printed a headcap used to detonate a mine clearing line charge earlier this year, the Marine Corps Systems Command announced Monday.
- 3D Printing in Education Market Is Flourishing with Healthy CAGR Worldwide, Industry Leaders- Lonza, Thermo Fisher Scientificon August 30, 2021 at 6:25 am
Our research specialists at Absolute Markets Insights have designed a magnificent report on the 3D Printing in Education Market that explicates the variety of angles of market facilitation over the ...
- 3D Printing Software and Services Market Is Set for a Rapid Growth and is Expected to Reach USD Billion by 2026 with a Growing CAGR During 2021-2027on August 29, 2021 at 10:08 pm
ResearchMoz has released a new report on the Global 3D Printing Software and Services market. This report contains essential insights into the market that will help customers make accurate business ...
- The Flashforge Adventurer 4 3D Printer: Many Features at a Low Priceon August 27, 2021 at 1:06 pm
Flashforge announced a new desktop 3D printer, the Adventurer 4. Flashforge is one of the oldest desktop 3D printer manufacturers, having launched well over ten years ago. Back then the company ...
- 6 of the Best 3D Printing Stocks to Buyon August 26, 2021 at 11:00 am
Supply chain issues have given the 3D printing industry a major opportunity.3D printing is a promising technology platform.
via Bing News