Exploring the Differences: 3D vs. 4D Technology

Reading time: 9 min read
Velina Nenova
Written by
Velina Nenova

Updated · Aug 10, 2023

Velina Nenova
Social Media and Digital Marketing Expert | Joined March 2022 | LinkedIn
Velina Nenova

Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous differen... | See full bio

Florence Desiata
Edited by
Florence Desiata


Florence Desiata
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
Florence Desiata

Florence is a dedicated wordsmith on a mission to make technology-related topics easy-to-understand.... | See full bio

Techjury is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

3D refers to the three-dimensional space that makes up our immediate environment, while 4D pertains to the four-dimensional space-time that takes time into account. 

Aside from fundamental distinction, understanding it in greater detail enables you to appreciate these technological advancements. From captivating movies to realistic ultrasounds and mind-boggling printing, understanding 3D and 4D technology opens up possibilities.

Here’s to give you insights into the difference between 3D and 4D.

3D and 4D: Spotting The Difference

Technology constantly advances, bringing exciting developments like 3D and 4D innovations. These advancements enhance how we see things and make us feel more involved. You can see the progression from simpler 1D to more complex 4D technologies. 

1D vs. 2D vs. 3D vs 4D

3D technology allows users to see things deeply and feel like they're part of the action. On the other hand, 4D technology takes things even further by adding interactivity and a time-based element. 

This makes the visual experience even more impressive. Both technologies have their strengths and are used in many different industries and fields.

What about other areas—take a closer look at this.

Understanding 3D and 4D

3D or three-dimensional, refers to objects or environments in spatial dimensions. It aims to replicate our perception of the natural world by providing a sense of depth and enhancing visual experiences. 

By leveraging techniques such as stereoscopic imagery and specialized glasses, 3D technology creates the illusion of depth and brings scenes to life.

4D takes the concept of 3D a step further by introducing the dimension of time. This technology incorporates dynamic changes and movements over time, creating a more interactive and immersive experience. 

By integrating time, 4D technology adds realism and engagement, making it stand out in various applications.

Dimensionsional Differences

In 2020, global VR video gaming revenues reached $22.9 billion, demonstrating the growing importance of immersive experiences. 3D technology, which focuses on length, width, and depth, is critical in enhancing visual realism and captivating viewers.

Bringing objects closer or farther away brings life into content. It bridges the gap between the viewer and the virtual world. This fosters a sense of presence and engagement, whether it's in movies, e-sports, or virtual reality.

Besides the three spatial dimensions, 4D introduces the element of time as the fourth dimension that allows for dynamic changes, movements, and interactions within the experience. 

With 4D technology, users can perceive depth and witness transformations, motion, and the passage of time. It becomes more interactive thanks to this additional dimension, which increases the level of technology.

Beyond what 3D technology is capable of, adding the fourth dimension enables dynamic and interactive experiences. 

Movies Applications

3D technology has revolutionized the experience of films in the movie industry. This is possible by providing a more immersive and captivating viewing experience. 

With specialized glasses, viewers can perceive depth and visualize scenes with enhanced realism. 3D movies incorporate stereoscopic imagery and spatial audio that creates an illusion of depth and makes objects on the screen appear more lifelike and interactive.

One example of an outstanding 3D animation movie is "The Incredibles." It excels in its pacing, action, and comedy, making it a top choice for experiencing the full potential of 3D technology.

Imagine experiencing a movie where the action is so real that you feel part of it. 

👍Helpful Article:

Want to experience the magic of 3D firsthand? Check out this Techjury's list of the best and must-see 3D films.

With 3D technology, characters and scenes jump out of the screen, bringing depth and excitement to your viewing experience. It's like stepping into a new world where everything feels closer, bigger, and more alive.

4D movies combine 3D visual improvements to elevate the cinematic experience. It includes physical sensations to create an immersive cinematic experience.  

4DX Theater

Aside from wearing specialized glasses for the 3D visuals, viewers in 4D cinemas also experience physical effects. These effects can synchronize with the on-screen action.

Users may now perceive depth, feel the wind in their hair, and detect smells of various settings. Additionally, you also experience the movement and transformation shown on the screen. 

It's a multisensory journey that makes you feel right in the middle of the story.

🎉Fun Fact:

The South Korean movie theater chain CJ CGV created the 4DX technology, which enables movies to be enhanced with various real-world effects like wind, motion seats, strobe lights, simulated snow, and fragrances. 

Ultrasound Imaging

Expectant parents are given a front-row view of their baby's lifelike features via 3D ultrasound. Gone are the days of straining your eyes to decipher blurry shapes. 

You can practically see those tiny button noses, dainty fingers, and adorable little toes. It's a magical experience that bridges the gap between imagination and reality, bringing you closer to your unborn child.

This visual insight fosters a deeper emotional connection between parents and their unborn kids. It gives them a glimpse into their baby's world before birth.

The applications of 3D ultrasound extend beyond visualization and emotional bonding. Healthcare professionals use this technology to check the growth and development of the fetus and to assess organ formation, and detect potential anomalies. 

A more comprehensive view of the baby's anatomy allows medical practitioners to make more informed decisions that relate to managing prenatal care and any necessary medical interventions.

✅Pro Tip:

In the continuous battle of 3D scan vs. 4D scan, remember that both are often medically unneeded except in rare circumstances. It is ideal to get the ultrasound your doctor has advised.

3D Printed Ultrasound

Moreover, 4D ultrasound isn't just about creating lasting memories; it also serves a crucial role in healthcare. By observing the real-time movements, healthcare professionals can assess the function and coordination of your baby's actions.

This technology allows expectant parents to witness their baby's activities as they unfold within the womb. Movements such as stretching, kicking, or even smiling can be observed, offering parents an incredible and fulfilling experience.

This emotional connection is crucial in strengthening the parent-child relationship and building a foundation of love. Apart from the emotional benefits, 4D ultrasound imaging also holds clinical significance. 

The real-time insights it offers can assist healthcare professionals in assessing the function and coordination of the baby's movements. 

This information can be valuable in diagnosing and monitoring certain conditions that may affect motor development or state potential health concerns.


Here’s a brief insight on 3d vs. 4d vs. 5d ultrasound: The live feed of the 3D static images is 4D ultrasound through a mini video clip, and 5D is the most recent and cutting-edge type of ultrasound imaging.

3D Printing

Instead of crafting objects by hand or using molds, 3D printing brings them to life layer by layer, guided by a digital blueprint.

The result is mind-boggling shapes and intricate designs that were once out of reach. It's like having a magician conjure the impossible right before you.

3D Printing MachineFrom prototypes to finished products, 3D printing offers unmatched flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness in the production process.

Customization and Personalization

One of the significant advantages of 3D printing is its ability to produce customized objects. Customization is often expensive and time-consuming with traditional manufacturing methods. 

3D printing removes these barriers by enabling easy customization based on individual needs and preferences. It empowers designers and manufacturers to create unique and tailor-made solutions. 

This technology facilitates the production of personalized consumer products, customized medical implants, and bespoke architectural models.

💡Did You Know?

The jewelry industry was one of the first businesses to fully grasp the possibilities of 3D printing and integrate it into ongoing business processes at a rate considerably faster than was feasible with just bare hands. Jewelry is produced utilizing 3D printing in 90% of cases.

Innovation and Prototyping

A 3D printer is a machine that produces three-dimensional objects from computer-aided designs using additive processes. It empowers innovators to test concepts, identify design flaws, and make necessary adjustments. It drives innovation and pushes the boundaries of what is possible.

It has become an invaluable tool for innovation and prototyping. Its rapid capabilities allow designers and engineers to transform ideas into tangible models. 

This iterative process facilitates design experimentation, refinement, and validation, which speeds up the product development cycle. 

👍Helpful Article:

Do you want the best cheap 3D printer in the UK for your home or something bigger and more productive for your business? This article might be of great help.

4D Printing

4D printing is a game-changer—structures can now intelligently adapt to their surroundings, optimizing energy efficiency and resilience. 

It's a dance between functionality and aesthetics, pushing the boundaries of what buildings can do.

Applications in Architecture and Design

In architecture, 4D printing holds tremendous potential. Structures can be designed to respond to environmental conditions, adjusting their shape to optimize energy efficiency or withstand external forces. 

For instance, a 4D-printed building facade could modify its porosity based on sunlight intensity. This can lead to optimal natural lighting and ventilation.

Dynamic architecture opens possibilities for sustainable and responsive design, blending functionality with aesthetics.

💡Did You Know?

The same processes as 3D printing are used in 4D printing to build three-dimensional objects by computer-programmed material deposition in consecutive layers. The final 3D shape created by 4D printing can change shape due to external stimuli.

Advancements in Healthcare

The healthcare industry has embraced the transformative capabilities of 4D printing. 

Medical implants, such as prosthetics or orthotics, can be 4D-printed using materials that respond to body temperature. This ensures a better fit and enhanced comfort for individuals. 

The ability of 4D-printed objects to self-assemble in response to stimuli also holds promising applications in drug delivery systems. These advancements have the potential to improve medical treatments and enhance patient care.

Implications in Robotics and Beyond

4D printing has also caught the attention of the robotics field. Engineers can create adaptive robots by incorporating shape-changing properties into printed robotic components. 

These robots can respond to various tasks and environments. They can self-assemble, change their locomotion mechanisms, or alter their physical properties to perform diverse functions. 

It opens up opportunities for advancements in automation, flexible manufacturing, and exploration of challenging environments.

👍Helpful Article:

Check out this blog post from Techjury on the best CAD software and general 3D printing software programs in 2023.

Wrap Up

3D and 4D technologies have revolutionized the world of technology and entertainment. 

While 3D focuses on enhancing visual experiences, 4D introduces the dimension of time, adding dynamic and interactive elements. Whether in movies, medical imaging, or printing, these technologies offer unique experiences.

Embracing the possibilities of 3D and 4D technologies unlocks new realms of engagement, immersion, and innovation. As these technologies evolve, you can expect further advancements to reshape how you perceive the world.


Are humans 3D or 4D?

Humans exist in a three-dimensional world and can be considered 3D entities. However, if we consider the dimension of time as the fourth dimension, humans can be viewed as 4D entities.

Where is 4D used?

4D technology finds applications in various industries, including entertainment (4D movies), medical imaging (4D ultrasounds), and manufacturing (4D printing).

What is 4D in multimedia?

In multimedia, 4D refers to integrating physical sensations and interactivity alongside visual and auditory elements. 


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published.