Tuesday 15 October 2013

4D Printing

4D Printing
4D printing, the printing of the future ? Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created with the help of 3D printing three-dimensional objects that can change their shape according to predetermined specifications. 3D printers have become much more than just a quick hype. As an integral part of productions in IT, medicine, space and decor; printing technology offers a wide range of design options.

The researcher Skylar Tibbits wants to use this by the architect, designers and computer scientists, however, much further. With its own research team, he sat down at the big project “4D printing" and produced using 3D printers objects that take on a new shape, when they are placed in water. The prototypes of the computer scientist work on the basis DIY principle of individual molecules (Molecular self-assembly technology).

4D Printing
Objects are first collected by means of 3D printing of various materials, among which some change in certain environments or influences in their form. In the example of the MIT scientist, it is done with process in the water. The water is responsible for the deformation of two different polymers. Consisting of individual molecular chains of the polymers being doubled its volume and thus provides for some time for the new shape of the object.

However, water alone does not appear to be possible in this case as the only source for shape shifting. Skylar Tibbits looks for 4D - printing still much more potential with heat, sound or lasers. Even the current applications are still far not the end of possibilities - whether under water or in space. US Defense is together with the software company Autodesk computer scientist currently working on the development of other prototypes.

He presented preliminary results at the TED conference in Monterey, California. Received was very positive, the project 4D printing and the Research Office of the U.S. Army. This in turn invested 855,000 dollars in further research and hopes for the future, and already first adaptive textiles and vehicles according to the uniforms with camouflage pattern. Even more curious creations from the 3D printer can be found soon.

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