If we are to grow digital manufacturing and 3D printing then our soft and hard assets will have to be managed and controlled through software. This in part explains Dan Wellers’ interest in 3D printing and enthusiasm around the technology. Building upon existing 3D printing technology, 4D printing uses dynamic materials that perform differently when they encounter changing conditions such as water, light, heat, or electrical current. 4D printing can expand what is currently achievable in prototyping, design, manufacturing, and post-production adaptability and usage. Because of its self-assembling capability, objects too big to be printed via conventional 3D printers can be compressed for printing and then expand after manufacturing. 3D printing represents the digital transformation of both design and production in the manufacturing industry and will have a profound impact on everything from logistics to extended supply chains to trucking. 3D printing will expand into 4D printing in the coming years by adding a fourth dimension: time.

Read the full article at 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing