he advent of 3-D printing brought on a number of innovations worthy of news coverage. Printers have created prosthetic hands, action figures, food, even blood vessels, simply by depositing layer after layer of different kinds of ink.
Now a handful of engineers around the world are trying to push the boundaries one step further — by printing objects that can build themselves.
It’s called 4-D printing, and the fourth dimension in this case is time. Here’s how it works: A 3-D printer with extremely high resolution uses materials that can respond to outside stimuli, like heat or light, as ink. The resulting structure can change, move or even assemble itself after it’s been printed.
More details can be found here: http://wvpublic.org/post/4-d-printing-means-building-things-build-themselves