Scientists in Australia have said they are starting to develop techniques for 4D printing after having devised an autonomous valve. Just as we’ve become accustomed with the process of 3D printing and its uses, researchers at the ARC Centre for Electromaterials Science (ACES) have started to develop 3D printed materials … that morph into new structures, under the influence of external stimuli such as water or heat.
ACES Professor Marc in het Panhuis told the BBC Today programme: “4D printing is a process, so there are no 4D printers. We use 3D printers to print 3D objects, which then transform into a different shape; very similar to what a child’s Transformer toy does.”
While in 3D printing a structure is built layer by layer, researchers envisage these new types of materials as able to transform themselves from one shape into another, in line with the fourth dimension – changing shape over time. … (read more)