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MIT group succeeds in 3D-printing molten glass

22 August 2015

The Mediated Matter Group in collaboration with MIT's Glass Lab have developed an optically transparent glass printing process called G3DP.

A glass object created via MIT's G3DP process (photo courtesy of the Mediated Matter Group/MIT Media Lab)

The platform is based on a dual heated chamber concept. The upper chamber acts as a Kiln Cartridge while the lower chamber serves to anneal the structures. The Kiln Cartridge operates at approximately 1,000°C and can contain sufficient material to build a single architectural component. The molten material is funnelled through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle.

The G3DP project was created in collaboration between the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT, the MIT Glass Lab and the Wyss Institute. Researchers include : John Klein, Michael Stern, Markus Kayser, Chikara Inamura, Giorgia Franchin, Shreya Dave, James Weaver, Peter Houk and Professor Neri Oxman.

A paper describing the development in detail - 'Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass' - will appear in the September 2015 issue of 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Meanwhile, a video showing the process in operation is available to view here.

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