Harvard University creates 4D Flowers that change shape over time

Researchers at Harvard created a ‘four dimensional’ 3D printed flower. While three dimensions are easy enough to get your head around, these scientists added in a fourth dimension for good measure and to ‘throw some shapes’; time.

Inspired by nature, specifically the way that some biological structures can respond to changes in their environment with a change in their physical form, Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have printed a liquid-like hydrogel composite that contains precisely aligned cellulose fibrils, very small fibres of the tough material that contributes to the rigidity of plants, present in their cell walls. The hydrogel composite quickly solidifies as it is being printed, allowing for more intricate patterns to be formed that contribute to the shape-shifting properties of these structures.

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4D flowers Credits Wyss Institute at Harvard University

photo credits: Wyss Institute at Harvard University