4D Printing

In a collaboration between Stratasys’ Education, R&D departments and MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, a new process is being developed, coined 4D Printing, which demonstrates a radical shift in rapid-prototyping. 4D Printing entails multi-material prints provided by the Connex Technology with the added capability of embedded transformation from one shape to another, directly off the print-bed. This revolutionary technique offers a streamlined path from idea to reality with full functionality built directly into the materials. Imagine robotics-like behavior without the reliance on complex electro-mechanical devices!

In order to take advantage of this new technology from idea conception to reality we have collaborated with Autodesk Research on their developments for a new software, called Cyborg, a design platform spanning applications from the nano-scale to the human-scale. This software allows for simulated self-assembly and programmable materials as well as optimization for design constraints and joint folding. The aim is to tightly couple this new cross-disciplinary and cross-scalar design tool with the real-world material transformation of 4D printing. The tightly coupled software and hardware tools will eliminate the traditional paradigms of 1. simulating then building or 2. building then adjusting the simulation. This coupled workflow will be unprecedented in the simulation adjusting physical performance and materials promoting new simulated possibilities.

A Collaboration between:
Skylar Tibbits | The Self-Assembly Lab, MIT
Education & Research & Development | Stratasys Inc.
Bio/Nano Programmable Matter Research Group | Autodesk Inc.