A new dimension: how 4D Printing will change the world

A new dimension: how 4D Printing will change the world

A new dimension: how 4D Printing will change the world

We’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with 3D Printing – yet scientists around the world are already working on the next dimension: 4D. The fourth dimension refers to a static 3D object’s ability to transform characteristics: for example, by changing shape in response to particular predefined stimuli.

 

There are already objects today that can autonomously fold themselves together after being 3D printed. Such objects are composed of smart synthetic materials with ‚shape memory’. So-called intelligent polymers that, for example, react to light or a specific temperature. By encoding static objects with dynamic characteristics 4D Printing opens up a whole new range of future possibilities. See what that future could look like for yourself in our gallery.

4D Printing

What’s possible today is just the beginning. 4D Printing will revolutionise material production as we know it in every conceivable field. So what can we expect? Will clothes soon be able to adapt to fit our individual body shape? Will broken pipes soon repair themselves? Could houses and bridges prepare themselves to withstand earthquakes or other natural disasters? More to the point: could flat-pack furniture someday assemble itself before our eyes? We may soon experience it all.

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