Skylar Tibbits – 4D Printing

Of late Skylar Tibbits’ research has been focused on self-assembling non-mechanical systems that are actuated not by a power source per say but rather by a material’s inherent properties and its programmable form. Having followed his work over the last couple of years at MIT and SJET its evident that his early design’s of complex installations involving hundreds and in some cases thousands of components combined with an interest in biological systems has led him down this path. His research on self-assembling systems stretches back to 2008 with a project called “Self-Assembly Electronics” and progresses through a series of mechatronically driven projects up to a project entitled “Passive Folder” which is the first instance that we see modular components with an embedded distributed intelligence that allows the global form to multiply and reconfigure across a given area based solely on its ubiquitous points of connection. Fast forward to 2013, where 3D printing technology is accelerating at and incredible rate, and Skylar Tibbits is now exploring the notion of self-assembling protein strands that actuate through its contact with water! Where will his research go next….

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