As soon as they were made public on their official YouTube channel, the MIT’s Glass 3D Printing demonstrations became Internet sensations on August 20. The new technology relied on ancient glass molding techniques and modern technology to create unique pieces of art.
Scientists have also provided scientific explanations in relation to their recent discovery, but images speak louder than words. According to the Media Arts and Sciences Department from the MIT Media Lab, normal glass has been replaced with a much more malleable composite that allowed the 3D printer to easily shape new forms.
According to the founder of the group, Neri Oxman, glass-filled nylon was preferred at the place of regular glass because the former is more printer-friendly. The glass-like material has been molted and then, poured into various forms, whose shapes have been given by altering the thickness of the printer.
In case you have already had the opportunity to witness artisans molding glass objects, you probably know that the new form has to be kept at high temperature levels for the entire process to be completed. The glass 3D printer uses its lower chamber to anneal the newly formed glass layers and to give them a long-lasting finish.
Engineers, who have watched the video, have compared the glass printing process to that of pastry bag cake decoration. The alumina-zircon-silica nozzle of the 3D printer functions much like a pastry bag in that it pours the molten glass in different layers.
The outcome is even more attractive than the glass printing process. This because light interacts differently with each layer of the form giving birth to interesting shades and patterns.
Glass 3D printing was developed several years ago with the help of various international companies. In June 2015, the Israeli-based company Micro3DP stated that they can produce glass objects using the 3D printer. In 2013, a Dutch company called LUXeXcel presented the first functional reading glasses created through the 3D printing technology.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org