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June 5 2013

Self-Assembling 4D-Printed Materials Take Shape

While the 3-D printing industry remains in a holding pattern of quasi-illegality and bombastic overexposure, some people are moving right along to the next dimension.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing a so-called “4D-printing technology” that will enable macro-sized 3D-printed materials to be programmed to self-assemble into predetermined structures and shapes. The technology could potentially change the construction and manufacturing industries, making it easier to build in environments, like outer space, where extreme conditions would cause construction to be expensive and dangerous.

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