The emergence of "4D printing" | Skylar Tibbits

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3D printing has grown in sophistication since the late 1970s; TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time. This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. 7:20 starting the presentation i just imagine a pipe for the exhaust of cars that adapts to heat and airflow, changing from straight pipe to helix, or the x pattern to h pattern it woud make more eficiient all kind of ICE cars

  2. He sounds like he has been listening to a big company owner especially when he says it costs too much money to make things the same way we have.really cost who too much?

  3. 3D printing is where electric cars are now. 3D is highly efficient but too slow for general manufacturing, whilst EVs are also highly efficient but have slow charge times.
    Has this guy done anything in the last 7 years?

  4. You must do this for the medical field like building cartilage in a hip – this can revolutionise the medical field.

  5. Studying the atomic bonding infrastructure when you bend a pipe what is the change of the atomic structure in the effected area where was the force or heat or tharmal energy was implied.

  6. Brilliant but….pipelines – so would the pipe diameter increase with flow demand? Problems – clashes with other services like electricity or sewerage after expansion, weaker pipe due to expansion but increase in forces due to flow increase. Flow is dependant on the storm intensity and sometimes pit inlet surcharge is intentional for stormwater design, for example a q100 (1 in 100 year storm event), where hydrology becomes more important than hydraulics. Would the pipe attempt to correct itself outside of design parameters? From a geotechnical standpoint how would this effect topography? What happens to the extra volume of dirt once a pipe increases in diameter? How would an increase in pipe size upstream effect smaller downstream pipes given the variance of rainfall within different catchment areas? If constructed in upper parts of the catchments, the entire downstream would also need replacing (catchments are considered during design for both major and minor stormwater events), and pipe sizing is well thought out and crucial to avoid property damage, flooding and personal injuries. Water pipelines – always under pressure (hydraulic grade line is higher than top of pipe and does not rely on gravity). If pipe size increases, so does volume and capacity – however, incresing pipe diameter decreases in a lower pressure in the system that will not only effect both commercial and residential property water supply but also could reduce pressure to hydrants the is crucial in emergency situations for fire fighters.
    Food for thought anyways.

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