MIT researchers develop optically transparent 3D printed glass
It’s only matter of time when everything we use will be 3D printed. In preparation for such a future, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have unveiled a method of 3D printing glass. MIT’s Mediated Matter Group, MIT Glass Lab, and MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department have in collaboration developed world’s first fully functional method for optically transparent 3D printed glass.
The new method to 3D print glass has been displayed in a mesmerizing video. The video shows how splendidly a 3D printer heats, cools glass at extreme temperatures (as high as 1,037 degrees Celsius) and shows how the golden liquid extrudes out from the 3D printers nozzle – the process looks amazing – you feel as if you are watching honey pour out of the 3D printer.
The 3D printer’s nozzle that extrudes glass is made of ceramic. The nozzle’s made to ensure it delivers the material as a certain diameter, which is necessary to make sure the 3D printed glass cools down in a controlled manner.
The printing technique, published in paper titled, 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, is a blend of conventional glass making technique and digitally controlled nozzle, which layers glass according to preferred CAD layout.
We are still far from the day when glass 3D printing will be a routine; but MIT’s effort has at least set the path straight.