Scientists not satisfied with 3-D printing, move on to 4-D printing2/28/2013
Slow down, world! We're just wrapping our heads around the idea of 3-D printed body parts and filet mignon, and brainiacs are already inventing 4-D printing. We're talking about objects that continue to develop or self-assemble after they're made. Consider the life-altering example of a piece of Ikea furniture that develops into a fully assembled chair on its own. Skylar Tibbits, an architect and computer scientist studying at MIT, unveiled the concept at a TED conference this week. The technology isn't quite there yet, but researchers have created 3-D printed "smart" materials that absorb water, allowing the doodad to evolve into any structure. Just imagine water pipes that install themselves without digging up the road. Now that's cool. [Source]
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