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Mydesign
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4D Printing
Mydesign   11/19/2013 9:44:03 AM
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"Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have combined 3D printing on the Objet Connex multi-material 3D printer with making shape-memory composites, calling that process 4D printing."

Ann, I won't think that's a 4D printing and it may need some clarity about 4D and 5D printing technology. Printing a 3D image of 3D object won't be defined as 4D printing. I heard that adding another dimension to 3D printing can lead to a 4D printing.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 4D Printing
Ann R. Thryft   11/19/2013 1:16:59 PM
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Mydesign, 4D printing is defined as 3D printing plus another dimension--time, which is commonly known as the fourth dimension. By "time" this usually means 3D printing an object that, because of characteristics of its material, then changes its shape over time. Personally, I think the designation is silly, which is why I didn't use it when reporting on Skylar Tibbits' work here:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=260118
At the time of my report, his TED talk wasn't available, but you might want to check it out--we give a link in today's blog.
The technology I'm reporting on here is using "4D printing" techniques to create self-assembling objects.



RogueMoon
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makes sense to me
RogueMoon   11/20/2013 8:57:05 AM
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A 3-D shape that moves in time when some kind of stimulus is applied.  The term used "4D printing" makes sense to me. 

The use of the term "self-assembling" is stretching things a bit.  Folding into a box isn't quite an assembly to my mind.  You need to connect at least two objects together to define an assembly.

It's a neat idea.  Let's see what they can do with it.  You could remove some assembly steps with this idea I suppose?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: makes sense to me
Ann R. Thryft   11/20/2013 11:38:53 AM
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RogueMoon, thanks for your comments. In the world of self-assembly R&D, the term is used correctly here in a general overall sense, although "self-configuring" or "self-reconfiguring" might be more accurate and specific. I still think the term "4D," although technically accurate, is silly and more hype than useful description.



JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: 4D Printing
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/20/2013 9:03:00 AM
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With the 4th dimension commonly accepted as time, the Title for this process is rather 'tongue-in-cheek', simply because it takes longer to produce the parts due to the added process of integrating the shape-changing elements. (not really aligned  with Einstein's paradigm of X,Y,Z, & T as the 4th dimension; I think)

Then, on the topic of taking extra time to place those elements, the article didn't really describe much there.  That's really the impactful content, isn't it-? The 'In-Process' integration of the shape-change material-?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 4D Printing
Ann R. Thryft   11/20/2013 11:39:25 AM
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Jim, I totally agree--all assembly is 4D, in the sense that it takes time to be accomplished. That's why, even though the term may be accurate, I think it's misleading.



Cabe Atwell
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Re: 4D Printing
Cabe Atwell   4/22/2014 5:49:21 PM
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They look like fun toys too. I wonder where this research's results will really shine. Perhaps in a space based solar application? 

C

Mydesign
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Re: 4D Printing
Mydesign   4/23/2014 3:25:14 AM
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"Perhaps in a space based solar application? "

Cabe, any further idea about it.

Habib Tariq
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Iron
self-assembling cubed robots
Habib Tariq   11/26/2013 2:42:22 AM
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This reminds me of MIT self-assembling cubed robots. The simple working principle of the cubed robot is its greatest strength. With no moving or connected parts the robot just uses the momentum generated from an internal fly wheel to leap and bound distances, and connects with other blocks using face magnets. What interests me even more are the potential applications for these self-assembling robots. Perhaps they could be used to build bridges or scaffolding systems for construction projects or be used for something as simple as spontaneous furniture that can take on many forms such a desk or a footrest.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: self-assembling cubed robots
Ann R. Thryft   11/26/2013 12:16:55 PM
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Thanks for noticing the connection, Habib. We've covered the MIT work, both the recent big cubes (M- Blocks) http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=268858 and the earlier, somewhat different work with tiny ones http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=243258

Habib Tariq
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Iron
Re: self-assembling cubed robots
Habib Tariq   11/27/2013 1:11:51 AM
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Thank you for sharing the links. I missed out on reading them earlier. Very well written I must say :)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: self-assembling cubed robots
Ann R. Thryft   11/27/2013 12:36:53 PM
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You're welcome, Habib. I think your ideas about applications for the MIT cubes are interesting, but am concerned about whether the magnetic bonds would have sufficient strength for load-bearing uses. We discussed this in the comments section to the M-Blocks story. What do you think?

Cabe Atwell
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Re: self-assembling cubed robots
Cabe Atwell   1/20/2014 5:47:16 PM
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As it stands right now, there is no limit to what can be constructed using 3D printing. The fact that 4D is now being thrown into the mix only solidifies that notion.



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