An M.I.T. lab is tweaking the idea of 3-D printing with the help of smart materials that continue to change even after they leave the printer
The biggest breakthroughs in how we make things lie not in the technology to manipulate materials but in the materials themselves. Such is the thinking behind “4-D printing,” an experimental approach to manufacturing that expands on much-hyped 3-D printing processes. Instead of building static three-dimensional items from layers of plastics or metals, 4-D printing employs dynamic materials that continue to evolve in response to their environment.
This new wrinkle in the maker movement comes courtesy of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Self-Assembly Lab, where director Skylar Tibbits and his team are experimenting with so-called “programmable materials.” The researchers print these substances using a 3-D printer and then watch as the fourth dimension—time—takes over and the materials change shape or automatically reassemble in new patterns.
Improvements in software, computers and assembly processes have enabled more complex designs and greater automation when translating designs into actual things. Tibbits, however, envisions a scenario in which the materials themselves contain the information needed for self-assembly, saving manufacturers time and money.
Read more about it here
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... facturing/
QUEST IS A discussion group for those who have a quest to get the answers of why's & How's in life.
1 post • Page 1 of 1