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If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D

Every now and then you come across a technology, or a mooted technology, that sounds so far-fetched, so outlandish that it belongs with proper flying cars and the paperless office. Things that will never happen.The idea of “printing” objects, so-called 3D printing once seemed pretty outlandish but it has already made the voyage from science fiction to startup. According to a recent report by analysts McKinsey & Company, “Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy,” 3D printing will have a direct economic impact of between $230 billion and $550 billion a year in 2025.But if you think 3D printing is disruptive, then what about a technology that could in the view of one of its main evangelists “make the world editable.” That is disruption.That technology is 4D printing — 3D printing but with designs that continue to evolve after manufacture. That really does sound far-fetched. But then a rocket was never supposed to be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and four-member guitar bands were never going to be big.According to Jeff Kowalski, chief technology officer for Autodesk, Inc., the very earliest building blocks for that future are in place today.Before we stray into to that extra dimension, what do we mean by 3D printing? Additive printing, as it sometimes known, is the opposite of conventional, subtractive, production. Say you want to make a metal part. Normally, you start with a large block of metal and mill, drill and grind bits off. To 3D-print that same part you start with a metal powder and, in much the same way as a bubble jet printer builds up a 2D image one row at a time, a 3D printer builds up the part one layer at a time. Using fusion techniques the metal powder becomes a solid.

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17 Aug
B3dge @Build3dprinter
RT @icecairo: If You Think #3DPrinting Is Disruptive Wait for 4D http://t.co/n1i5qZKTQj via @medialab #tech #innovation بعد #الطباعة3دي الع…
16 Aug
MIT Media Lab @medialab
4D will make the world editable, says @SkylarTibbits: 3D printed objects than can grow or change after manufacture http://t.co/iXME2wYHK4
08 Aug
TheColorCompany_3D @ColorCo3DPrint
ICYMI: Is #4DPrinting on the way? 'If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D - Tech Europe' http://t.co/Xa9JwSHYL0 via @WSJ
01 Aug
3DInnovations @3D_Innovations
If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D http://t.co/fena9BPkbi via @WSJ #additivemanufacturing #innovation #tech
31 Jul
3DInnovations @3D_Innovations
"What 4D printing offers is the opportunity for objects to change, to adapt to their environment, to respond." http://t.co/KxMguKBpW7
30 Jul
3DPrinter.net @3DPrinter_net
RT @axiszee: If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D http://t.co/a87KKg6hIQ #additivemanufacturing #3Dprinting
30 Jul
3DPrintingBuzz @3DPrintingBuzz
If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D http://t.co/m7giHyAV3Z
30 Jul
Emily Turrettini @textually
If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D http://t.co/xzJqQVsjMY via @WSJ
30 Jul
Autodesk @autodesk
Do you think #3Dprinting is disruptive? #4Dprinting can “make the world editable”: http://t.co/k2Q4VO7vdg @WSJeurope http://t.co/aKVQ6ZGqbY
30 Jul
3D Printing newsbot @3DPrint_newsbot
If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D - Wall Street Journal (blog) http://t.co/rs1f8NcQwU #3dprint
30 Jul
3d-magic @3dmagic
If You Think 3D Printing is Disruptive, Wait for 4D http://t.co/iMlhKz5v0u
30 Jul
Moxie3D @moxie3d
If You Think 3D Printing Is Disruptive, Wait for 4D - Tech Europe - WSJ http://t.co/6PqOBkMZEO via @WSJ