Design, Sci + Tech

4D Wood Printing

While the 3D printing “revolution” continues to gain more widespread adoption across disciplines, the MIT Self-Assembly Lab isn’t satisfied with the production of static materials, focusing instead on the very Bucky-like concept of “4D printing,” pieces that can self-assemble.

This approach adds the dimension of time to 3D-printed production, manufactured pieces that can respond to their environments. Most recently, the lab has been experimenting with “programmable wood”, which involves the deposition of wood fibers in custom-designed grain patterns that react in specific ways when exposed to water.

They have also been working with carbon fiber, and are looking into producing responsive furniture and clothing.

Read more: MIT Self-Assembly Lab, Wired, BostInno