4D Printing: self-folding of complex objects

Using components made from smart shape-memory materials with slightly different responses to heat, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have demonstrated a four-dimensional printing technology that allowed creation of complex self-folding structures.

It could be used to create 3-D structures that sequentially fold themselves from components that had been flat or rolled into a tube for shipment. The components could respond to stimuli such as temperature, moisture or light in a way that is precisely timed to create space structures, deployable medical devices, robots, toys and range of other structures.

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