4D printing, the next big revolution in additive manufacturing

4D printing

Many are the researchers and even the companies that have understood the great benefits that 3D printing can offer for all types of industries. Due to this and as it usually happens, there are already those who are working on the next great revolution, which many relate directly to the Print 4D, very similar to what we know today as 3D printing, especially in terms of operation, but it differs in several things.

Among the most notable differences, it should be noted that the one known as 4D printing will use completely different materials, something that makes it unique and that in turn can significantly help especially the design that it can contribute to the model on which we work.

One of the main advantages of 4D printing is that it uses smart materials that can be programmed

When we talk about materials we should not understand them as those used in 3D printing, but as smart materials that can be programmed, for example, to change shape over time. To understand this a little more, I would like to express the words of Skylar tibbits, a professor at MIT and one of the leading pioneers of 4D printing in the world:

The programming of physical and biological materials is close to robotics, but without cables and units.

At the moment there are many initiatives that are emerging around 4D printing, although the truth is that there is still a long way to go. Among the real applications that this technology can have, for example, thanks to 4D printing, a dress that, depending on the temperature, is more or less tight or a tape that can expand or contract thereby controlling the drainage capacity.


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