An additive-manufacturing glass-printing process called G3DP (Glass 3D Printing) has been developed by researchers in the Mediated Matter Group at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with the Glass Lab at MIT.
MIT researchers invent process for 3D-printing complex transparent glass forms
Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN
The platform is based on a dual heated-chamber concept. The upper chamber acts as a Kiln Cartridge (a thermally insulated heater) operating at about 1900°F to melt the glass, while the lower chamber serves to anneal (form) the structures. The molten material gets funneled through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle, which extrudes the material onto a build platform, where it cools and hardens. By tuning the form, transparency, and color variation, the process can drive, limit, or control light transmission, reflection and refraction in the final material.
The G3DP project was created in collaboration between the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, the Mechanical Engineering Department, the MIT Glass Lab, and the Wyss Institute.
A selection of Glass pieces will appear in an exhibition at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York City in 2016. An “Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass” patent application was filed on April 25, 2014.
John Klein et al. Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Sept. 2015
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