Photo courtesy Ryan Lash/TED Conference
Skylar Tibbits, an architect, designer and computer scientist recently presented a new concept at TED 2013: 4D printing. Skylar Tibbits' research focuses on developing self-assembly technologies for large-scale structures in the physical environment. In a collaboration between Stratasys’ Education, R&D departments and MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, a new process is being developed. Skylar Tibbits calls it 4D printing, where materials can be reprogrammed to self-assemble into new structures, directly off the print-bed.
Using the unique Objet Connex multi-material 3D printing technology from Stratasys Tibbits is able to program different materials properties into each of the various particles of the designed geometry. When using some materials with different water-absorbing properties he could just program them to activate the self-assembly process.
This revolutionary technique offers a streamlined path from idea to reality with full functionality built directly into the materials. Imagine robotics-like behavior without the reliance on complex electro-mechanical devices!
(Credit: Skylar Tibbits)
MIT's Self-Assembly Lab has collaborated with Autodesk Research on their developments for a new software, called Cyborg, a design platform spanning applications from the nano-scale to the human-scale. Tibbits writes: "This software allows for simulated self-assembly and programmable materials as well as optimization for design constraints and joint folding. The aim is to tightly couple this new cross-disciplinary and cross-scalar design tool with the real-world material transformation of 4D printing. The tightly coupled software and hardware tools will eliminate the traditional paradigms of 1. simulating then building or 2. building then adjusting the simulation. This coupled workflow will be unprecedented in the simulation adjusting physical performance and materials promoting new simulated possibilities."
Posted in 3D printing Technology
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