new process developed by a team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) makes shapes fold up like origami. Researchers there have 3D-printed shape-shifting structures that can fold themselves up and unfold themselves, or expand and contract in size, when prompted by changes in electricity or heat. The primary shapes they created were printed with shape-memory polymer inks developed by the team using a direct-ink writing 3D printing process.
Ann R. Thryft has been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 29 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.