4D Printing Is a Thing Now

Posted by Meghan Neal

Just when I had started to wrap my head around the concept of 3D printing, 4D printing has emerged.
 
The fascinating, if overwhelming, TED Talk posted yesterday explaining this next wave of the future—3D printed materials that have the capability of transformation. So, the fourth dimension is time itself.
 

 
Skylar Tibbits, an architect, designer and computer scientist at MIT, explains it as "programmable materials that build themselves." 
 
The TED website puts it this way:
This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.
Watch the talk: