In the present era of ICT,the increasing use of 3D printing in various fields has made it a topic of discussion. Although, it is still at a nascent stage of development and not universal, but technologically developed countries have taken it into their hands and they are trying to take wide advantage of it from building home appliances to the field of space and even homes. Today 3D printing technology is being used in various fields especially in the field of security and aerospace to repair various parts of safety-related equipment and to manufacture various equipment related components. Today, in this article we will learn about the emerging 3D printing and its more advanced version 4D printing.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing is a technique using which three-dimensional objects are created.For this, a three-dimensional object is designed in digital format. After this, it is obtained in physical form by a 3D printer.
The printers used in 3D printing are based on additive manufacturing techniques.Where ink and pages are required in a simple printing machine, in this printing machine the material to be printed is determined by determining the size, colour etc.
- 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing sector with its three main advantages, short time, freedom of object design and low cost.This will free a large number of workers, who can be opened new doors of possibilities by giving them work in other areas.
- In the health sector also, this technology is being used in many applications, including tissue engineering, prosthetic and artificial human organs. Apart from this, it will prove to be a revolutionary initiative in the fields of manufacturing, education, space and security.
A ‘soft silicon heart’ was developed by the scientists of Switzerland, which works almost the same as the human heart. Apart from this, scientists from China and the United States developed embryonic stem cells using 3D printing technology in a joint effort, while scientists in the United Kingdom have created the world’s first cornea using this technology.
- A team of American researchers has created a ‘sponge’-like structure that fits on the palm through 3D printing technology, which can prove to be effective in reducing pollution. The team created a ‘sponge’-like plastic mold by mixing nanoparticles of the chemical agent, titanium dioxide, during the 3D printing process. Which has the potential to eliminate pollution from water, air and agricultural sources.
What is 4D Printing?
With the help of 4D printing technology, such objects can be prepared, which can change their shape with time according to the conditions.Notably, researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia developed 3D printed materials, which can be transformed into new structures under external influences such as water or fire. This technology is named 4D printing. This new substance is capable of changing itself from one shape to another.
Although, 4D printing technology is in the early stages of development, it is rapidly emerging as a new paradigm in disciplines such as bioengineering, materials science, chemistry and computer science.
Its applications can revolutionise many things
- This advance initiative is being applied on a large scale in the world of nanotechnology. 4D printing technology is also known as ‘bioprinting’, ‘active origami’ or ‘sape morphing system’.
- Significant results can be achieved in the field of robotics using 4D printing technology without using any complicated electromechanical equipment.
- This technology will allow the creation of child and elderly care products that can respond to temperature and humidity. For example, clothes and shoes should change their function and look according to the environment.
- Researchers are making biochemical components that can be implanted in the human body.
- Using this technology, household appliances and products can be made more work efficient and comfortable by making them temperature friendly.
What are the advantages of these over existing tech?
- 3D printing allows products to be manufactured at a lower cost than traditional methods.
- Quality work can be done much more efficiently in less time by 3D printing. It is capable of increasing the efficiency of work.
- Prototypes generated by 3D printing can be manufactured with great ease and speed with such perfection that is sometimes missed in human creation.
- A variety of materials can be used for 3D printing. This makes it easy to print a variety of prototypes and products. This gives freedom to choose the product customised to your need.