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Imagine things can replicate by itself an appropriate design. In my opinion, we need 4D printing to make water pipes for snowing region.:)
MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly — the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper).
He is an artist and computational architect. Skylar Tibbits is working on “smart” components that can assemble themselves.
3D printing has grown in sophistication since the late 1970s; TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time.
This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time.
Think a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.