Self-Assembly Lab, Stratasys ltd. & Autodesk inc.
4D Printing, developed as a collaboration between the Self-Assembly Lab, Stratasys and Autodesk, is a new process for printing customizable smart materials. 4D Printing entails multi-material prints utilizing the Stratasys Connex printer with the added capability of shape-transformation from one state to another, directly off the print-bed. This technique offers a streamlined path from idea to full functionality built directly into the materials, including; actuation, sensing and material logic. Potential applications include; robotics-like behavior without the reliance on complex electro-mechanical devices as well as adaptive products, garments or mechanisms that respond to user-demands and fluctuating environments.
With a single multi-material print, a product or mechanism can transform from any 1D strand into 3D shape, 2D surface into 3D shape or morph from one 3D shape into another. Using only water, heat, light or other simple energy input, this technique offers adaptability and dynamic response for structures and systems of all sizes.