This 3D-Printing Lands In Hot Water

Jun 19, 2017 at 3:53 PM ET

Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed 3D-printed objects that expand in hot water. Each hollow rod is made of memory polymers that unfold in heated water and is connected with 3D-printed elastic cables.

Though another team unveiled a similar shape-shifting object earlier this year, this new one uses tensional integrity, or “tensegrity,” a lightweight structural system made of floating rods and cables. Researchers believe this device could be used in space travel to create objects that compact for storage and expand for use.