Self-Assembly and Reaction
4D printing is printing 3D objects that can assembly into another object or preform a reaction to certain conditions. However, the objects need a catalyst to perform their transformation such as water, temperature, light, or other factors. One major player in this movement, who coined the term “4D printing” and created the Self-Assembly Lab, is Skylar Tibbits. He along with Stratsys’s R&D departments and the Connex 3D printer have made important progress in this field. This video clip of a self folding cube by the Self-Assembly Lab shows what can be done within the field of 4D printing. There are more videos from the lab located here.
He saw what nanotechnology was changing in medicine and he is applying the same idea to infrastructure and manufacturing. He isn’t looking to create smart materials that replace designers and engineers, but rather create “programmable materials that build themselves.” It will be interesting to see more to come from this field.
- Biomimicry With 3D Printing of Shapes and Surfaces
- 3D Printing Tradeoffs and Optimization
- 3D Printing Evolution Functional Block Diagram
- The Next Best Thing But Not Yet
- 3D Printer Combinations
- 3D Scanners-Current Limitations
About the Author
Max Murphy is Mechanical Engineering student in his Junior year at California Baptist University. He is interested in the implications of 3D printing or positive manufacturing for mechanical design. In the summer he is was an intern with Soundfit, one of the companies that is part of the Bay Area Advanced Manufacturing Hub (BAAM), where he is gained hands on experience with a 3D printer and scanner. He was also an intern with Neodyne Biosciences working with the R&D and Q&A departments.