It is very likely that 4-D printing will become the next big thing. It is a very unique and mind blowing concept that most people probably thought would never be possible. People are going to want to see it to believe it sort of deal. I do not see it being anything but big.
Just by the simple description of what is involved with 4-D printing is enough to propel it to being the “next big thing”. The thought that images can form on their own is almost beyond even the most scientific and analytical mind. This whole idea of printing in the 4th dimension of its own would be a huge addition to the world. 4-D printing, which may well incorporate nature itself into the printing process, may be even more than the next big thing.
4-D printing most likely will not become the next big thing. It would cost hundreds upon hundreds of dollars just to make a large quantity of these items and to actually distribute them around the country. It is unlikely they are going to do that, so I doubt it will be the next big thing.
Where exactly do you see 4-D printing being used except in limited scientific endeavors?
This is pure nonsense. And, it sure as Hades won't be a huge addition to the world. And, incorporate nature? You are really out there. Are you on drugs?
"As part of Institute for the Future's research project on what we're calling "The Coming Age of Networked Matter," we've looked at progress around programmable materials that can morph and self-assemble. MIT professor and TED fellow Skylar Tibbits is pushing on this idea with what he dubbed "4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time," meaning that the printed objects change shape over a certain period. (Thanks, Jake Dunagan!)"
Currently there are no commercial 4-D applications. From what I can tell, two simple small toy objects have been created from plastic that changed shape when put in a liquid over time.
This is just BS. It will never produce anything except jobs for MIT professors living in a fantasy world. It is sad that millions of dollars are wasted on nonsense like this.
3-D printing is very limited and can only make objects from one material. And, to do it, you have to be a CAD expert.
Technology has its limitations
While there are websites offering a variety of downloadable designs, Ratto says most of the people using the CAD software are trained professionals, not the average hobbyist.
That creates major obstacles for a layperson wanting, e.g., to 3D print a small piece of a closet door that is likely available at a reasonable cost in a traditional store, Ratto says.
Another limitation is that the printers create an object out of only one material when most consumer goods are made of many.
3-D printing is OK for building design models, but it will never replace high volume production because it is not cost effective.
How is 3-D printing different from traditional manufacturing?
“Additive manufacturing allow manufacturers to produce parts without the capital investment of tooling/mold design; however, each part takes more time to produce (it is a low volume technique). Additionally, the available materials are limited (though metals, plastics, and ceramics are available – there are few examples from each class), the print resolution of the parts in commercially available 3-D printers is less than the finish from most mass manufacturing techniques (e.g., injection molding).
For high volume production, 3-D printing is not cost effective; but, for the design process, it makes a lot of sense.
For low volume production of high-value-added items like prosthetic limbs and medical implants, or custom disposables like toothbrushes, or cell phone cases, it may also make sense.”
––– Prof. Robert Shepherd, mechanical and aerospace engineering
What are the limits?
“The material formulations are the first limitation as they are required to be a liquid during extrusion but a solid soon after. Second, the width of the print path is limited to the available diameters of the extrusion nozzle. Third, non-self supporting structures require co-printing a sacrificial mold structure.”