Skip to menu
Skip to content
The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Say Hello to 4D Printing: A New Way to Prototype!

It’s a common fact that the average American consumer has no idea what a 3D printer is, or what it does. Our patent attorney at the Yau Law Firm, Jo-Anne Yau, can certainly vouch for its usefulness in patenting. But, one look at the 4D printer recently introduced by Stratasys¬†and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and we were in awe.

Imagine printing–yes, printing, not building–a three-dimensional object from a digital model. That’s 3D printing. This means that I could go to a 3D printer with a drawing of a ball and have that ball printed in its three-dimensional form. Sounds cool, huh? Well, wait till you feast your eyes on the new 4D printer, the result of collaborative work between MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab Director, Skylar Tibbit, Stratasys, and Autodesk.

4D printing is everything 3D printing can do–except now, it can print objects that can assemble themselves without human interference. There’s no better way to describe it than to see it for yourself in the video below.

The components in the 4D printing change shape and property information, according to Tibbits. The video showed a printed cube placed into water. After touching the water, the components shifted, expanded, and changed to force the cube layers into place, thus building a cube without assistance.

With such potential, 4D printing is expected to create dramatic opportunities in self-assembling manufacturing such as the automotive industry. What do you think about 4D printing?

To find out about the patenting process and how prototyping can help you, give us a call today!

Leave a Reply

« »