glass will soon be one of the materials used in 3D printing systems


3D printing technology is already available in a variety of materials, including ABS plastics, polyamide or nylon, PLA, wax, polycarbonate and photopolymer, and soon glass will be one of the materials available in this additive manufacturing technology.

MIT scientists have perfected the 3D printing process using molten glass. Their sophisticated system manages to completely control the thermal material, producing products that were previously difficult to make with 3D printing.

The team in published in 3 d printing and material manufacture "report describes the system, called G3DP2 said it was" a new molten glass material manufacturing platform, it will be digital integrated the three areas of thermal control system combined with the four axis motion control system, created the industrial scale production capacity, improve the productivity and reliability, ensure the accuracy and repeatability of products at the same time, these are impossible before."

This is a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. Glass is a material with complex chemical properties and requires extreme temperatures to be melted and molded. Although it is one of the oldest manufacturing materials, there are still challenges in the production and design of glass. This explains why it took so long to make glass available for 3D printing.

The system is configured to include a closed heating box, which is tasked with containing the molten glass, and a heat controlled secondary box, which is the place to convert the glass into a three-dimensional object. The glass extrusion system is precisely controlled to ensure that impurities and structural problems do not disrupt the crystallization process. According to foreign media reports, the obtained transparent glass structure can be used for building or decoration.

One of the finished products that G3DP2 can produce is a set of 3-metre-tall glass columns for milan design week 2017. The installation highlights the geometric complexity, strength, precision and transparency of 3d-printed glass and demonstrates the potential of the invention in architectural design.

MIT researchers working on the project - Chikara Inamura, Michael Stern, Neri Oxman, Daniel Lizardo and Peter Houk - hope their invention will open the door to more glass applications in 3D printing, as the material has a wide range of USES in various industries.