One of the 4D-printed objects, which folds into a cube when exposed to water
A 4D-printed "polymer airplane" that folds itself into shape
Prof. H. Jerry Qi with identical 4D-printed objects in their flat and folded states
Using a 3D printer, people can already determine the length, width and depth of an object that they create. Thanks to research being conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder, however, a fourth dimension can now be included – time. And no, we're not talking about how long it takes to 3D-print an item. Instead, it's now possible to print objects that change their shape at a given time.
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