A Team at Harvard Introduced a Dynamic 4d Printing Technique

By: Laura McQuarrie - Feb 5, 2016
References: wyss.harvard.edu & digitaltrends
While 3D printing is just beginning to infiltrate and enhance number of industries as we know them, 4D printing is also on the horizon.

Harvard’s Wyss Institute have proven that a fourth dimension, time, can be added to the 3D printing process, in which an object will transform in response to different environmental conditions after printing. As the research team describes, this was done by creating an object "printed with a hydrogel composite ink containing aligned cellulose fibrils."

By taking inspiration from the way plants react to cues like rain or sunlight, the researchers were able to use the gel to create a dynamic flower structure. After printing, the object was submerged in water, where it fully "blossomed" and took on a completely new form. This speaks to the dynamism that's to come with future printing innovations.