It wasn’t so long ago that 3D printing was the new kid on the block. Now the term 4D printing is making headlines, stretching our ability to conceptualize once again. To understand 4D printing, it helps to have a better familiarity with 3D printing.
3D printing was originally developed in 1984 by Charles Hull. However, it was 2007 before anyone other than businesses and the one ultra-techie neighbor on the block gained access to 3D printers that used filament instead of ink. That’s because they finally became affordable for the house user around that time. Since then, like most technology, 3D printers have become smaller, faster, cheaper and more versatile.
The first 3D printers were slow, meticulously producing a single letter or a small figurine over a 12-hour window. Now we’re printing 3D houses, replacement parts, interior design pieces, furniture and so much more.