Next Level 3+1: 4D Printing

The future of technology is bright with the early engineering behind Next Level 3+1: 4D Printing technologies. These structures are also known as the early models of 4D printing technological devices. Researchers are currently working out all of the kinds that are found with the 3D printing technology currently in existence. While the current 3D printing technology itself is still in its infancy, researchers, engineers, and scientists are exploring the opportunity to create an even more advanced set of 4D printing devices.

What Makes the 4D Printer More Advanced than Its Predecessor?

3D printing devices are very complex. These machines can convert a 2D image into a 3D object using arms and lasers that work to build layers of material on top of itself. 3D printers are able to build objects as large as buildings as well as objects as small as handheld tools. These printers can even print items like shoes that are tailored to each individual foot and biocompatible structures that can be implanted into the body for reconstructive purposes. It may be difficult to conceptualize that any printing machine could accomplish even more, but 4D printing technology does just that.

The 4D printer is modeled after flowers such as the orchid and the calla lily. These beautiful plant structures are more than pretty flowers to view or smell. These plants are capable of movement and are able to adapt to their environments. Calla lilies and orchids are very sensitive and are known to be receptive to the smallest of changes in temperature, humidity, and sunlight. Scientists are exploring the benefits of being able to manipulate the objects that are printed with a 4D printing device.

Tools for Doctors, Engineers and Many More

These scientists believe that doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals would benefit from being able to fully manipulate the objects that they use in their practices. This may mean that the tools that a surgeon would use in the operating room would be able to more accurately differentiate between healthy tissue and infected or cancerous tissue that must be removed. If a surgeon were sure that they have removed 100 % of the unhealthy tissue, then this would prevent further surgeries and speed up the process of healing. This may even mean that individuals are completely cured of the ailment that once plagued them. For these reasons, the 4D printer would be valuable to the medical profession.

4D Printers could be used in contexts other than the medical profession. These printers are able to move, shape-shift, and respond to changes in their environment. This would mean that these objects could be used to signal natural disasters of a great variety. These 4D printed objects would be able to retrieve objects that are in water, under water, on land, or in the air that otherwise could not be retrieved. Scientists, engineers, and skilled technicians even have high hopes that these objects would be able to transform the way electricity is conducted or how clothing is created. Designers theorize that there will be a future in smart textiles. Smart textiles are items of clothing that can transform based on humidity, on temperature, and even on requested permeability.