4D printed self assembling objects by MIT + stratasys
feb 27, 2013
4D printed self assembling objects by MIT + stratasys


forget 3D printing – MIT’s 4D printed self-assembling objects are the future

 

 

as the technologies in 3D printing progress over time, new scientific breakthroughs leading to the discoveries
of organs printed from regenerative cells and bio-engineered body parts will become a thing of the past.
seeing the potential in self-assembling forms, MIT researcher skylar tibbits and team from minneapolis-based
stratasys have worked together to develop a method of 4D printing programmable entities that self-actuate on
their own – much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. the new rapid-protoyping technique entails
multi-material prints with the added capability of embedding transformative information from one shape to another.

 

instead of printing out a complete object, the 4D method creates a long string of multiple materials –
which then fold and convert into various shapes when placed in water, activating the morphing process.
engineered with different properties at the particle level within the 3D geometry – software allows for simulated
self-assemblies, optimizing design constraints and joint folding. it is the idea that this technology can be
implemented not only into small-scale projects, but used in the future construction of architectural projects
such as skyscrapers, buildings or even housing on the moon.

 

 

4D printing: cube self-folding strand
video courtesy skylar tibbits

 

 

4D printed cubes

 

 

4D printing: MIT self-folding strand
video courtesy skylar tibbits

 

 

self-folding sheets: hyperbolic paraboloid
video courtesy skylar tibbits

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