Innovative and ambitious, Skylar Tibbits, an artist and computational architect, leads Stratasys industries into a new revolutionizing process called 4D Printing. 4D printing is an emerging technology that is capable of printing objects that then reshape themselves over time. This smart-assembling, programmable material can be used in circumstances like irrigation systems, bridges, or even in small scaled products, such as furniture and appliances.
With its multi-material technology, researchers can program different material properties into designed geometry. This is done by harnessing the properties of water absorbance.
“With water as its activation energy, this technique promises new possibilities for embedding programmability and simple decision making into non-electronic based materials.”-Stratasys
Even though this technology is not commercially available yet, the idea of self-assembly is just the beginning of a manufacturing world that requires minimal energy.
“As environmental, economic, and human and other constraints continue to fluctuate, we will eventually need dynamic systems that can respond with ease and agility. This truly is a radical shift in our understanding of structures, which have up to this point, remained static and rigid and will soon be dynamic, adabtable and tunable for on-demand performance.”-Stratasys
Here is a video from FW: Thinking, explaining 4D Printing.
Here is also a TED talk from the inventor, Skylar Tibbits.
To learn more about 4D printing, cick the sites below: