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And now, 3D-printed glass
September 6, 2015, 2:10 pm

A method for 3D-printing glass that uses cartridges heated to 1,000°C has been developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The process owes very little to printing and is better understood as additive manufacturing, with layers of molten glass being slowly drizzled into shape through a nozzle. In a video demonstrating the technology, the molten glass appears like runny honey, slowly falling out of the nozzle and onto the structure.

Known as G3DP, the system was developed by MIT's Mediated Matter Group. Drawing from a chamber of molten glass heated to 1,000°C, the printer uses an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle to drizzle small layers to slowly build the glassware.

The system is not limited to simple shapes and can drizzle glass into different patterns and shapes to create complex, elegant designs. Some of the early work using the system will go on display at the Smithsonian Design Museum in 2016.

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