GLASS / G3DP – 3D printing of optically transparent glass

Created as a collaboration between MIT Media Lab's Mediated Matter Group, MIT's Department of Mechnical Engineering and MIT's Glass Lab, GLASS / G3DP is a additive manufacturing process that enables 3D printing of optically transparent glass that also allows tunability by geometrical and optical variation that drives form, transparency, color variation, reflection and refraction.

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 1040°C and can contain sufficient material to build a single architectural component. The molten material gets funneled through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle. The project synthesizes modern technologies, with age-old established glass tools and technologies producing novel glass structures with numerous potential applications.

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