4D Printing: Self-Assembly Brings 3D Printing to the next level

The next big thing may very well be 4D printing, a new technology from Skylar Tibbits, an architect, designer and computer scientist. The core concept behind this new technology is self assembly. It may sound strange and far out, but it’s actually quite simple. 4D printing is being billed as a process where synthetic objects can change and adapt themselves to the environment. In a recent TED interview, Tibbits compared the process of 4D printing to the process of natural adaptation:

Natural systems obviously have this built in — the ability to have a desire. Plants, for example, generally have the desire to grow towards light and they generate energy from the translation of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide to oxygen, and so on. This is extremely difficult to build into synthetic systems — the ability to “want” or need something and know how to change itself in order to acquire it, or the ability to generate its own energy source. If we combine the processes that natural systems offer intrinsically (genetic instructions, energy production, error correction) with those artificial or synthetic (programmability for design and scaffold, structure, mechanisms) we can potentially have extremely large-scale quasi-biological and quasi-synthetic architectural organisms.

(via 4D Printing Is The Future Of 3D Printing And It’s Already Here | WebProNews)lf

(via joshbyard)