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

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emergentfutures:

MIT’s Self-Assembling Solar Cells Recycle Themselves Repeatedly, Just Like Plant Cells
A team of MIT scientists believe they’ve done it, creating a synthetic, self-assembling chloroplast that can be broken down and reassembled repeatedly, restoring solar cells that are damaged by the sun

emergentfutures:

MIT’s Self-Assembling Solar Cells Recycle Themselves Repeatedly, Just Like Plant Cells

A team of MIT scientists believe they’ve done it, creating a synthetic, self-assembling chloroplast that can be broken down and reassembled repeatedly, restoring solar cells that are damaged by the sun

Self-assembling  computer chips | MIT News
Molecules that arrange themselves into predictable patterns on silicon  chips could lead to microprocessors with much smaller circuit elements
One of the alternatives that academic researchers have been exploring is to create tiny circuits using molecules that automatically arrange themselves into useful patterns. In a paper that appeared Monday in Nature Nanotechnology, MIT researchers have taken an important step toward making that approach practical.

Self-assembling computer chips | MIT News

Molecules that arrange themselves into predictable patterns on silicon chips could lead to microprocessors with much smaller circuit elements

One of the alternatives that academic researchers have been exploring is to create tiny circuits using molecules that automatically arrange themselves into useful patterns. In a paper that appeared Monday in Nature Nanotechnology, MIT researchers have taken an important step toward making that approach practical.

New Route To Nano Self-assembly Found

ScienceDaily — If the promise of nanotechnology is to be fulfilled, nanoparticles will have to be able to make something of themselves. An important advance towards this goal has been achieved by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who have found a simple and yet powerfully robust way to induce nanoparticles to assemble themselves into complex arrays.

First 3-D Patterned Nanostructures: Technology Review
Patterned tin and nickel panels self-assemble into nanoboxes.
Varying etching conditions influences the angles formed by the panels in these nanoboxes. The left column is a close-up of the tin hinge material. The other columns show the boxes at different magnifications. The panels are patterned with the letters “JHU” with line-widths of 15 nanometers. Credit: ACS/Nano Letters

First 3-D Patterned Nanostructures: Technology Review

Patterned tin and nickel panels self-assemble into nanoboxes.

Varying etching conditions influences the angles formed by the panels in these nanoboxes. The left column is a close-up of the tin hinge material. The other columns show the boxes at different magnifications. The panels are patterned with the letters “JHU” with line-widths of 15 nanometers. Credit: ACS/Nano Letters