3D printing is likable for a lot of people but not all the prints come out as you want. Thus, they want technology to transform objects into something more suitable. This is where the 4D printing technology comes in. The 4D printing technology allows in changing the 3D printed objects in a different shape.
A team of researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology in the US along with the University of Technology and Design in China collaborated to develop a 4D printing technique which will transform objects. It will change shape as a response when you apply heat to the object. In this technique, they have used layers of shape memory polymers. These layers will respond differently to heat.
How can 4D printing technology be implemented?
According to Martin L Dunn, a professor of Singapore University and Technology, the key component of this work was the 4D printing method which made it easy for them. With this tech, they were able to create high resolution complex 3D re-programmable products. This will help in a lot of applications in biomedical devices, consumer products, and 3D electronics.
The reason this process is called 4D printing is that the objects can transform their shape once they are 3D printed. With this research, they can create objects in two states, one contracted is for shipping and the other expanded form for the regular usage. This new technique has got the potential for robotics, medical devices, toys, architecture and other application science.
The application of heat is not only a rational process, but it is also a fast process. The polymer object changes its shape into something completely different and it maintains the new shape completely. You can determine the final shape of 4D printing during the process. If you know the proper printing parameters and the arrangement of structure, you can bring out the desired result. Thus, the 4D printing technology is simplified and consumers can get it in the coming years. The 4D printing technology needs more refining so that it can be better and look more appealing.
The healthcare sector is the one which will be mostly benefitted with this new technology. The biomedical devices come in contact with the heat of a human body and healthcare industry is always open to such advancements. It will be fascinating to see what this technology brings us in future.