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some assembly required may soon be replacedwith "just add water." 3d printers. i never get tired of thinking about all the possible applications, like building a brand new coffee table, or building a brand new 3d printer,or finally getting that strickland action figure everyone's been asking for. but allof these great products have one thing in common - rigidity. that means they're goingto keep that shape once i print them, unless


car rental logo samples, i take a flamethrower to them, or maybe ahacksaw. but the advent of something called 4d printing could turn all of that on itshead! that's right, it's one "d" better! actually, it's not just a catch phrase, 4d printingis really about using a 3d printer to print out self-reconfiguring, programmable material.now imagine this. you have a non-living object


that can change its shape and behavior overtime. it's kind of like a robot, but there are no microprocessors, no circuit boards,no motors - in fact to you it looks like a string of plastic. but you toss it into akiddie pool, and upon contact with water you now have a secret message spelled out in plasticcursive! skylar tibbits, the man who really came up with this idea of 4d printing, hasgone even further. he's created programmable sheet material. it's a sheet of plastic that,when submerged in water, can clench up into the shape of a cube. and a cube is just thebeginning! more complex designs will mean millions of more shapes - like self-foldingorigami! in the near future, imagine a smart grid of plumbing, with pipes that can actuallyexpand and contract in response to water demand.


or maybe even heal if there is a frozen segmentthat breaks open. or imagine self assembling furniture. print out a flat board and justadd water, next thing you know it curls up into a rocking chair. now, wrap your mindaround how useful this would be in a really hostile environment, like low earth orbit,where building stuff comes at a high cost and a high risk. now the prototypes we haveseen so far have been pretty simple, but the promises are amazing! think about it on thereally big scale. what about skyscrapers and bridges. if we could make them out of smartmaterials like smart beams and smart bricks, they could heal themselves after weather damage or prepare for something massive like an earthquake. or we flip it. we go on to the very smallscale and now we have micro particles moving


around in our bodies, maintaining our health.you might be wondering, how much complexity can build up our of stuff that changes itsshape without computers or electromechanical motors. lets think about proteins for a second. proteins are pretty much what make any basic animal function possible on a cellular level.an a protein is really self-reconfiguring material. it's a polypeptide. it's a longchain of amino acids. so once again we're playing copy cat to mother nature. now letsnot get ahead of ourselves, i'm not actually suggesting that we're going to be printingout some sort of plastic replicant that can gain self-awareness and yearn for more life.but maybe we will. in fact, it's hard for us to predict right now. we're just seeingthe very beginning of this technology, and


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the complexity could become truly amazing.so, how would you use 4d printing? let us know! leave a comment below, we promise we'regoing to read every single one of them and while your there why don't you like the videoif you enjoyed it, and subscribe, we got some great stuff coming up soon!


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i’m deanna dean. and i’m edgar sandoval… and welcome to conexpo-con/agg 2017! deanna and i will be here all week, giving you the insi...