Plastics Industry News


Next Generation of Plastics - 4D Printing

MIT Scientist and "4D Printing" Pioneer Skylar Tibbits Joins Global Plastics Summit Program as Innovation Keynote Speaker

WASHINGTON — SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association and IHS Chemical, the leading global source of critical information and insight, announced today that Skylar Tibbits, a research scientist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Architecture and director of MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, will serve as the innovation keynote speaker for the upcoming 2015 Global Plastics Summit (GPS), scheduled for Oct. 28-30, 2015, in Chicago. Tibbits’ presentation is scheduled from 8:05-8:45 a.m., Friday, Oct. 30.
Skylar Tibbits - Research Scientist at MIT
Skylar Tibbits talks about 4-D printing during a video TED Talk.

Titled “Next Generation Beyond: Glimpse into the Future. The Next Generation of Plastics,” Tibbits’ presentation will highlight his groundbreaking work on “4D printing” and the role the plastics industry is poised to play in the development of this new technology. His presentation will inspire GPS attendees to think about new technology and its potential benefits for their business and products. So called 4D printing is an emerging technology that will enable manufacturers to print objects that reshape or self-assemble over time.

“The history of plastics as a versatile material of choice bears the imprint of several important visionaries who have pushed the industry into new and exciting places while relying on plastics to solve some of the world’s most intransigent problems,” said William R. Carteaux, SPI President and CEO. “Skylar is a visionary who possesses the intelligence, perspective and creativity necessary to push the plastics industry into a new era of innovation and applications. We could not be more thrilled to welcome him to GPS and are certain our attendees will feel the same after hearing his presentation.”

“Skylar will present his impressive vision of a world in which plastic products and materials can self-assemble and transform themselves, but he’ll also inspire GPS attendees to think about the potential of the technology, and how they can innovate to help solve problems from healthcare to aging infrastructure at home and abroad,” said Nick Vafiadis, Senior Director, global polyolefins and plastics at IHS Chemical. “Skylar’s presentation and Q&A will be a must-see for all forward-thinking executives in the plastics industry.”

A TED fellow and winner of the 2013 Architectural League Prize, the Next Idea Award at Ars Electronica 2013 and the Visionary Innovation Award at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, Tibbits is the director of MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, which focuses on self-assembly and programmable material technologies for novel manufacturing, products and construction processes. Previously he has worked at a number of renowned design offices including Zaha Hadid Architects, Asymptote Architecture and Point b Design. He has designed and built large-scale installations at galleries around the world, has been published extensively in outlets such as the New York Times, Wired, Nature, Fast Company, various peer-reviewed journals and books.

GPS 2015 will be hosted at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago, where a hotel room block has been exclusively reserved for GPS 2015 attendees. The event will open on the morning of Oct. 29, and continue until the afternoon of Oct. 30. A preliminary agenda may be accessed here.

Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $373 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly 900,000 American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at and "From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."

About IHS (

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of insight, analytics and expertise in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 150 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs about 8,800 people in 32 countries around the world.

IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. © 2015 IHS Inc. All rights reserved.



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