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Modern manufacturing primarily utilizes direct assembly techniques, limiting the possibility of error correction or instant modification of a structure. There is a growing need to program physical materials to build themselves. Adaptive materials are programmable physical or biological materials which possess shape changing properties or can be made to have simple logic responses. There are computer programs that allow the design of nano-robots that self-assemble into functional structures for drug delivery applications. There is immense potential in having disorganized fragments form an ordered construct through physical interactions. However, these are only self-assembly at the smallest scale, typically at the nanoscale. The answer to customizable macrostructures is in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. 3D printing has been around for almost 30 years now and is starting to filter into the public arena. The main challenges are that 3D printers have been too inefficient, inaccessible, and slow. Cost is also a significant factor in the adoption of this technology. 3D printing has the potential to transform and disrupt the manufacturing landscape as well as our lives. 4D printing seeks to use multi-functional materials in 3D printing so that the printed structure has multiple response capabilities and is able to self-assemble at the macroscale. In this chapter, I will analyze the early promise of this technology as well as highlight potential challenges that adopters could face.

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