Just when I finally wrapped my head around the concept of 3-D printing (argh, that’s a lie, I still don’t get it) – here comes 4-D printing to boggle my puny, public school-educated brain.
Hmmm. OK. Let’s give it a whirl. WHAT IS 4-D PRINTING, GUYS?
It’s a process that requires the perfect storm of light, collapsible materials and tension between parts to cause an entire object to bloom like a flower. The object will rise, expand and take its own shape over time. That’s what makes it 4-D.
It may not look like much, but this principle could be used for an endless list of commercial object that humans would want to build, pack away and then unfurl on demand.
“The goal is to find a way to deploy a large object that initially takes up little space,” Glaucio Paulino, a professor at Georgia Tech’s school of civil and environmental engineering, said in a release.
Sort of like those little sponge dinosaur capsules! Except, like, for collapsable and expandable furniture and computers and Mars surface rovers and stuff!
Got it. Now I want one for Christmas.