"This new approach significantly simplifies and increases the potential of 4-D printing by incorporating the mechanical programming post-processing step directly into the 3-D printing process," said Jerry Qi, a professor in the George W.
"The key advance of this work is a 4-D printing method that is dramatically simplified and allows the creation of high-resolution complex 3-D reprogrammable products," said Martin L.
In addition to telling the positive stories about plastic, perhaps one solution is to sell tomorrow's professionals on cutting-edge technology like 4-D printing. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher Skylar Tibbits led a lively discussion about the future of plastics, noting "we use plastics in almost everything we do."
Tibbits and his team at M IT have been worki ng to develop the next generation of printing, called 4-D printing. What's fascinating about 4-D printing is that it results in a transformative product like a robot that has the ability to solve problems.
Another technology the Army has its eye on is 4-D printing, in which the configuration or internal properties of a 3-D printed part changes over time in response to environmental factors such as being exposed to water, light or extreme temperatures.
The service in 2013 awarded $855,000 in grant funding to three scientists from Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering to develop 4-D printing materials, according to a news release from the University of Pittsburgh.
The so-called 4-D printing shape-change method might be used to create a soldier's uniform that automatically alters itself to protect against poison gas or shrapnel.
THE OBJECTIVE A method for so-called 4-D printing, in which materials assemble themselves into shapes large and small.
Ge says the process of 3-D printing shape-memory materials can also be thought of as 4-D printing, as the structures are designed to change over the fourth dimension -- time.
"Our method not only enables 4-D printing at the micron-scale, but also suggests recipes to print shape-memory polymers that can be stretched 10 times larger than those printed by commercial 3-D printers," Ge says.