Next Level 3+1: 4D Printing

The future of technology is bright with the early engineering behind Next Level 3+1: 4D Printing technologies. These structures are also known as the early models of 4D printing technological devices. Researchers are currently working out all of the kinds that are found with the 3D printing technology currently in existence. While the current 3D printing technology itself is still in its infancy, researchers, engineers, and scientists are exploring the opportunity to create an even more advanced set of 4D printing devices.

What Makes the 4D Printer More Advanced than Its Predecessor?

3D printing devices are very complex. These machines can convert a 2D image into a 3D object using arms and lasers that work to build layers of material on top of itself. 3D printers are able to build objects as large as buildings as well as objects as small as handheld tools. These printers can even print items like shoes that are tailored to each individual foot and biocompatible structures that can be implanted into the body for reconstructive purposes. It may be difficult to conceptualize that any printing machine could accomplish even more, but 4D printing technology does just that.

The 4D printer is modeled after flowers such as the orchid and the calla lily. These beautiful plant structures are more than pretty flowers to view or smell. These plants are capable of movement and are able to adapt to their environments. Calla lilies and orchids are very sensitive and are known to be receptive to the smallest of changes in temperature, humidity, and sunlight. Scientists are exploring the benefits of being able to manipulate the objects that are printed with a 4D printing device.

Tools for Doctors, Engineers and Many More

These scientists believe that doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals would benefit from being able to fully manipulate the objects that they use in their practices. This may mean that the tools that a surgeon would use in the operating room would be able to more accurately differentiate between healthy tissue and infected or cancerous tissue that must be removed. If a surgeon were sure that they have removed 100 % of the unhealthy tissue, then this would prevent further surgeries and speed up the process of healing. This may even mean that individuals are completely cured of the ailment that once plagued them. For these reasons, the 4D printer would be valuable to the medical profession.

4D Printers could be used in contexts other than the medical profession. These printers are able to move, shape-shift, and respond to changes in their environment. This would mean that these objects could be used to signal natural disasters of a great variety. These 4D printed objects would be able to retrieve objects that are in water, under water, on land, or in the air that otherwise could not be retrieved. Scientists, engineers, and skilled technicians even have high hopes that these objects would be able to transform the way electricity is conducted or how clothing is created. Designers theorize that there will be a future in smart textiles. Smart textiles are items of clothing that can transform based on humidity, on temperature, and even on requested permeability.

Build a House in Only One Day – 3D Printed Houses

The idea of having a 3D printed house is no longer as farfetched as it has been in years past. Experts state that 3D printing will be the staple of the upcoming technological revolution. It is therefore important to understand what 3D printing technology is and how it can be used to better the lives of all humankind.

3D printing is the process of taking a 2D image and turning it into a 3D object. A high-tech computer takes the 2D image that has been entered and repeatedly traces that image into an open space using thin layers of a specified material. These materials vary from metal to plastics. Each time the 3D computer traces the 2D pattern over itself, the material that is printed is reinforced. Objects of any shape, size, design, or strength can be created with the help of the right 3D printer and materials.

What Are the Benefits of 3D Printed Houses?

The benefits of 3D printing are still under investigation. Manufacturers believe that 3D printing could open the doors for safe and affordable housing in areas of natural devastation. These 3D houses can be printed in as little as 24 hours. This means that temporary housing can be made available while the devastated area is reconstructed. This 3D printed housing option may also serve as a more permanent residence in areas of the world that suffer from overpopulation and lack of housing.

Houses that are created using a 3D printing technique can be taken down as quickly as they are put up. This is an especially useful feature when the occupants move into a more permanent housing establishment, such as would be the case when natural disaster victims move back into their reconstructed homes.

3D printed houses can be redesigned in a quick and efficient way. The materials used to create the 3D printed houses can be recycled completely. Once a house is torn down, then the material is recycled and rebuilt into another 3D printed house. This could easily solve problems like having to replace a weak or damaged wall. The owner or designer of the home may wish to change the texture or the design of the home, and would be able to do so with a 3D printed house.

Cheap and Modern Houses for Everyone

3D printed houses are relatively affordable to create. A 100-square foot 3D printed house can be created in 24 hours. This means that the bill for labor is limited to as little as just one day. Not only can these houses be built quickly, but they can also be created with just one laborer. Only one person is required to load the material into the device that builds the 3D printed home. That means that just one person will need to be paid for labor unless the job is split between a team of members. The materials used to create the 3D printed house are readily available and easily recyclable. When materials do not need to be shipped in from international sources, then the cost tends to be lower for materials.

The entire 3D printed house can be printed on the spot. This will eliminate the need to create portions of the house elsewhere and have them shipped into the construction site. Accidents can be avoided, and construction delays are less likely when the entire process of building the house takes place in one location.

If 3D printed houses encompass each and every one of the benefits listed above, then the cost of manufacturing a home could be cut by as much as 90 %.

3D Print Is Not Limited to Plastic – Interesting Opportunities with Metals

3D metal printing is a process that is quite similar to 3D printing in its original form. 3D printing is traditionally a process that uses a biodegradable material like plastic to create structures or objects like houses or building structures. In other words, 3D printing is the process of taking an image or drawing that is in 2D and recreating that same image in 3D. 3D metal printing only differs in that 3D metal printing uses metal instead of another type of biodegradable material.

3D printing is the process of taking an image or drawing that is in 2D and recreating it in 3D. A giant computer and printer trace over an open space with fine metal material over and over again until the designer sees fit. This printing process can be used to print both small and large 3D objects out of metal in a relatively short amount of time.

How Can 3D Printing Be Used to Advance Humankind?

The possibilities with 3D metal printing are limitless. Metal is a special material that can be soft or sturdy. Certain metals can conduct electricity very well while others are weak conductors. This means that the metals used in 3D metal printing can be varied to meet the purposes of the projects they are meant to create. When a process can be adapted to meet the user’s needs, the project is both efficient and precise. That efficiency and precision is what can be used to advance humankind.

3D metal printing has been used to create solid tools, reinforced metal structures, and strong machines. Items that are 3D printed in metal can even be created so that they have less parts than the typical machine. When there are less parts to a machine, then there are fewer chances of the machine breaking or malfunctioning when stress is put on a certain point of that machine. When tools and everyday useful items are created to be stronger and more efficient, then they last longer. When an item lasts longer, fewer materials are needed to create mass numbers of its weaker counterparts.

What Are Other Benefits of Choosing 3D Metal Printing Over Conventional Methods of Construction?

3D printing in metal allows for customization as the designer or customer see fit. As stated above, some metals are pliable but weak, and some metals are strong but not pliable. This means that sturdier materials would not lend themselves to customization very easily when constructed conventionally. 3D metal printing will allow the designer to create a very sturdy structure without having to sacrifice custom features or designs that he desires.

Standard items can be adapted to fit individual needs. Any metal item, such as a hammer, can be lengthened, widened, shaped, or bent to fit the needs of the individual using it. So, while these items can be conventionally created in mass quantities, it makes sense for users in unique situations to have a metal item 3D printed to fit his needs.

When items are 3D metal printed, the environment benefits. This is because there is no need for large pieces of machinery or factories to produce the 3D metal printed items. When there are fewer factories and chemically-laden processes, then there is a smaller carbon footprint left behind.

Living Objects – 3D Bioprinters

3D bioprinting is a technique that is very similar in many ways to traditional 3D printing techniques and 3D metal printing techniques. The general concept of 3D printing involves converting an image that is in 2D into an object that is in 3D. 3D bioprinting takes this general concept one step further. 3D bioprinting involves taking meticulously adding “pores” to the material that is 3D printed so that blood vessels and tissues can grow into and accept that 3D printed object as an object that is supposed to be a part of a living organism’s body.

3D bioprinting is currently successful in growing tissues like ears, jaw bones, and other bone fragments that can be used in reconstruction procedures. These 3D printed biostructures are often accepted into the body once they are implanted because the “pores” inside of the 3D printed structure allow for blood and nutrients to flow freely.

How Exactly Do 3D Bioprinters Work?

3D bioprinters are incredibly complex. There are a few different types of bioprinters depending on the demands that are expected of them, but all bioprinters utilize a bioprint head that strategically place cells as they are printed. That bioprint head works in a similar way to other 3D printers in that they are able to move upward, downward, left, right, backward, forward, and every direction in between.

This freedom of movement allows the bioprinting head to place cells so that there are tiny holes left throughout the structure to account for the blood flow that will hopefully reach them. 3D bioprinters place cells in layers along with a dissolvable gel that helps to protect the cells during construction. After a few hours of this layering process, the structure is complete and is ready for insertion. The structure is placed under the skin of a rodent and is left to grow for weeks to months before the new structure can be harvested for use in a human patient.

What Are 3D Bioprinters Capable Of?

3D bioprinters have been successful in creating a range of small pieces of cartilage and bone. While the trials for these biostructures are still in their infancy, they seem to be working very well. These studies are currently performed on rodents and do not have much trial testing on humans yet. Researchers have noticed that when these structures are printed with pores and inserted into the skin of rodents, the rodent’s body begins to supply blood and nutrients to that structure. Within weeks to months these structures begin to function as they were intended to do.

3D bioprinters are not yet able to print larger, more complex structures such as the heart, kidneys, liver, or lungs. These structures are in high demand as there are few of these precious organs that available for the many thousands of people waiting on transplant lists around the world. Scientists and engineers have high hopes that the 3D bioprinter will be able to print these important organs in the near future so that many more lives can be saved.