TED is currently underway in Long Beach, California, and really, what better place to introduce a technology like “4D printing,” i.e., “3-D printing where the chunks start separated and intelligently arrange themselves into basically any object.” That’s according to Wired, which reports the technology (developed jointly by Stratasys and MIT’s new Self Assembly Lab) was debuted today in a speech from MIT’s Skylar Tibbits.
The way this particular iteration works is you drop strands of material into water and they “fold themselves into desired shapes.” They look a little like sentient robot spiders but hey, why worry about a little detail like that?
Mr. Tibbets told Wired:
“What we’re saying here is, you design something, you print it, it evolves,” Tibbits says in an interview. “It’s like naturally embedding smartness into the materials.”
Watch this strand fold itself into a widget and contemplate how you can best appease our soon-to-be masters.