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3D printer from MIT prints sculptures made of glass

Over 1000 ° C

MIT scientists have developed the world’s most advanced 3D printer capable of printing glass sculptures.

It operates at temperatures above 1000 ° C.

For 2016 an exhibition is planned at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

Whether dentures, household items, musical instruments, components and even houses ,3D printers can now print almost anything.

And now the process reaches a new milestone: printing with glass. G3DP is the process developed by the Mediated Matter Group of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The glass printer consists of two ceramic chambers stacked one above the other. On top is a melting pot, into the glass is filled.

Through a separately heated nozzle it runs into the second chamber, the kiln.

There is also the printing platform. For the pressure, the entire melting crucible is displaced. In the kiln fascinating sculptures are created Over 1000 ° C is needed to liquefy the glass.

During the printing process, a temperature of 550 ° C. prevails in the kiln.

The printer creates fascinating sculptures, layer by layer, until the mold is finished. During the process the glass glows red.

Only after cooling it becomes transparente!

Before the actual printing two different preparatory possibilities are available.

The glass can be heated directly in the melt crucible for four hours and then allowed to stand for two more hours until air bubbles rise.

Alternatively, hot lime soda glass is filled into the crucible. After printing, the temperature is lowered in a controlled manner so that the glass can cool down at room temperature.

If the sketch track comes out of the printer, there are still various post processing operations.

Sharp edges must be removed by hand and the floor polished. Exhibition in the New York Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Still, printing cannot start or end automatically and the glass filament needs to be cut by hand.

The glass is also regularly refilled manually into the melt crucible, which leads to interruptions.

The researchers therefore want to integrate an active feeding system into the glass printer.

Then the diameter of the nozzle could also be changed. In 2016, the scientists want to exhibit some works at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Museum of Design and Art in New York.

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