Whereas the considered a machine that may squirt out limitless ropes of molten glass is a bit horrifying, the parents at MIT have nearly perfected the method. In a paper published in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, researchers Chikara Inamura, Michael Stern, Daniel Lizardo, Peter Houk, and Neri Oxman describe a system for 3D printing glass that provides much more management over the recent materials and the ultimate product.
Their system, referred to as G3DP2, “is a brand new AM platform for molten glass that mixes digitally built-in three-zone thermal management system with four-axis movement management system, introducing industrial-scale manufacturing capabilities with enhanced manufacturing charge and reliability whereas making certain product accuracy and repeatability, all beforehand unattainable for glass.”
The system makes use of a closed, heated field that holds the melted glass and one other thermally managed field the place it prints the thing. A moveable plate drops the thing decrease and decrease as it’s being printed and the print head strikes above it. The system is attention-grabbing as a result of it truly produces clear glass buildings that can be utilized for adornment or constructing. The researchers take particular care to manage the glass extrusion system to make sure that it cools down and crystallizes with out injecting impurities or structural issues.
“Sooner or later, combining the benefits of this AM know-how with the multitude of distinctive materials properties of glass comparable to transparency, energy, and chemical stability, we could begin to see new archetypes of multifunctional constructing blocks,” wrote the creators.