What is 4D Printing

4D printing is an intelligent assembly of 3D printing and Smart materials. These smart materials have the ability to adapt the situation and to change the shape or behavior in various environments. They may also find themselves in a self assembly evolution. The 4D printing raises the 3D Printing field to another level.Stratasys_MIT_Cubefolding_Combined


How 4D Printing works?

The final shape of materials depends on environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity etc. The process of reshaping and self-assembly make take few second up to several days.

They are also programmable transformers. They can be pre-programmed to change their shape in response to a physical stimulus. The popular name of “4D” printing, means that these objects can transforms over time.

A simple example of 4D Printing materials is when you put a take on a paper. If you put them under the water, you see the shape changes. It is because of change in the structure and size of the paper as it gets wet.


4D Printing Research at CARD

It is one of amazing topics discussed and researched in CARD group Meetings. The student of biomimetics who have large expertise in the area of inspiring from the nature, are the pioneers in the development of this field.

Our special focus in research is on finding new application areas. It includes the applications for using 4D Printing Materials, Simulation of 4D Printed parts and fabrication of 4D Printing parts using various 3D Printing and other manufacturing techniques.

4D Printing Octahedron_COMBINED3


Design of structures for 4D Printing

The design process includes multiple skills in the area of CAD, Computer Simulation, preferably Finite Element Analysis, and understanding of materials used in 3D Printing.

4D Printing Self Assembly, by Skylar Tibbits
Self Assembly, by Skylar Tibbits

Other groups and experts working on the topic