Programmable structures - 4D Printing

In this project an Adaptive Robot with triangular or Tetrahedral Structure (ARTS) is developed, which can replicate any time-varying plane or spatial objects. ARTS thus constitutes the basis for so-called 4D printing, which is still referred to as a pure future concept. While conventional 3D printing gives rigid objects, ARTS consists of programmable and deformable cells. 4D printing is the technology that allows the creation of any spatial (3D) geometry that can additionally change in the fourth dimension - time. 4D printing is a potential disruptive key technology because it is expected to have a range of applications at least as broad as 3D printing. The core of ARTS is based on single triangular or tetrahedral cells which can relocate themselves by deformation, connection and detachment. With continuous miniaturization, the self-reconfiguring robot ARTS offers the possibility of creating a freely programmable material in the long term. Compared to existing rigid "modular robots", ARTS can adapt to the environment and thus create flexible and formable objects. Applications are seen in design, in object transmission via the Internet and in scaffolding.

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