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What is 4D Printing and How Does it Differ from 3D Printing?

What is 4D Printing and How Does it Differ from 3D Printing?

Written by David

June 18, 2020

Scientists are now looking to the fourth dimension to create a new generation of printed smart materials capable of changing their shape.


3D Printing vs 4D Printing


Three-dimensional printing, also known as additive manufacturing, takes a digital blueprint and turns it into a physical object using computer-aided design (CAD). A repeating 2D structure is built up, layer by layer, from bottom to top until a 3D construction is complete. The finished object is characterized by its rigidity and inability to change shape, much like any typical metal or plastic part. The process of 4D printing is essentially the same – it utilizes the same 3D printers, and the computer runs the same program to deposit material in successive layers until a 3D structure is formed. Click here to find out more about 3D printing technologies. However, 4D printing adds a new dimension, where the structure can […]


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