With 4D printing, different properties are embedded into the various parts of the 3D printed object enabling it to self-assemble into a new object when the printing is done. This is still experimental with obvious huge potential and possibilities.
In a collaboration between Stratasys’ Education, R&D departments and MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, a new process is being developed, coined 4D Printing, which demonstrates a radical shift in rapid-prototyping. 4D Printing entails multi-material prints provided by the Connex Technology with the added capability of embedded transformation from one shape to another, directly off the print-bed. 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!