3D printing (3DP) and additive manufacturing (AM) are expanding in new and surprising ways. Like conventional manufacturing, 3D and AM are getting infused with data analytics. We’re expecting new materials and we’re likely to see market consolidation.
We’re also seeing the advent of 4D printing. In recent years, 4D printing has developed into a useful technology. 4D printing is the action or process of using 3D printing techniques to create an object that is able to change its shape or properties in a predictable way over time in reaction to conditions such as exposure to water, air, heat, or electric current.
The technology is often associated with work done by MIT in conjunction with Autodesk and Stratasys. This video explains how it works and its potential uses: