Published on January 29th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
4D Printing: A Revolution Across Industries
We typically think of artificial intelligence in software but what if tangible objects had intelligence? In this article about 4D printing from Michael Rander and Dan Wellers at newequipment.com, we learn that materials can be programmable and adapt to their conditions over time. The innovations from this technology will allow designers to think about how a part or component can solve a problem right now and also in the future as the requirements change.
The days when 3D printing was simply dreamed about are far behind us. Today, the process of creating a three-dimensional object via successive layers of materials is a mainstream activity—from customized medical devices and prosthetics to conventional household products, and even industrial buildings. It’s projected that by 2030, nearly a quarter of Dubai’s buildings will be 3D-printed.
The global 4D-printing market is expected to reach US$64.5 million by 2019 and increase at a 33.2% CAGR through 2025.
Over the last few years, 3D printing technology has seen significant advances in the way it employs and combines different materials such as plastic, metal, sandstone and wax. These advances have paved the way for business benefits, streamlined supply chain processes, increasing personalization, and the ability to manufacture new designs.
In fact, in the next decade, patients waiting anxiously on the organ donor list could be a thing of the past. By 2030, it will be possible to biologically 3D print organs on demand. 3D printing has become a game changer for many industries. However, the reality is that much of the innovation has been incremental. Limitations still exist—but not for much longer.
The market for various programmable materials, which are the foundation of 4D printing, are expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% or more through 2025.
A Warm Welcome to 4D Printing
Think 3D printing, but with increasingly complex materials that will open doors for new product innovation possibilities. This emerging technology will allow the production of three-dimensional objects incorporating a fourth dimension: time. This exponential innovation has the ability to redefine how we design, manufacture, and interact with objects by using “smart” materials to create objects that can self-assemble, reshape themselves, or otherwise react to changing conditions.