Harvard Scientists Just Created 4D Printing

Thursday, 28 January 2016 - 7:45PM
Science Videos
Thursday, 28 January 2016 - 7:45PM
Harvard Scientists Just Created 4D Printing
It seems like just yesterday that 3D printing became a thing. It looks like even that wasn't good enough, however, as Harvard scientists have already improved upon the concept by introducing an additional dimension to the concept: time.  



Apparently the scientists from the Wyss Institute and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who are credited with the invention got the idea from plant life. Just as a flower might change form when introduced to sunlight or other conditions, the objects created by a 4D printer change with their environment as well -- something that objects made by 3D printers were formerly unable to do. As shown in the video, a hydrogel composite structure is used in the printing process which then allows the creation, resembling an orchid, to change form when immersed in water.  

Of course this seems to be a very basic usage of the invention, but as time goes on, scientists hope that the technology can lead to further breakthroughs and find utilization in a number of fields. For instance, the list of possible future applications include biomedical devices, smart textiles, and tissue engineering. Really, there is an unlimited amount of possibilities with how 4D printing could be used in the future in the advancement of technology and science.
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