Skylar Tibbits’ February TED Talk that introduced the concept of “4D Printing,” which can be described loosely as the creation of materials that contain properties to allow them to change their own shape or configuration over time or from the result of a trigger, has now been posted. (Above.)
A cross-disciplinary research lab at MIT composed of designers, scientists and engineers inventing self-assembly technologies aimed at reimagining processes of construction, manufacturing and assembly at all scale-lengths.
Self-Assembly is a process by which disordered parts build an ordered structure through local interaction. We have demonstrated that this phenomenon is scale-independent and can be utilized for self-constructing and manufacturing systems at nearly every scale. We have also identified the key ingredients for self-assembly as a simple set of responsive building blocks, energy and interactions that can be designed within nearly every material and machining process available. Self-assembly promises to enable breakthroughs across every applications of biology, material science, software, robotics, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, construction, the arts, and even space exploration. The Self-Assembly Lab is working with academic, commercial, nonprofit, and government partners, collaborators, and sponsors to make our self-assembling future a reality.