Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have demonstrated that they can create 3D prints using glass rather than plastic (pictured).
The "G3DP" process is described as an additive manufacturing platform that allows the team to control the "light transmission, reflection and refraction" of the structures they create.
Two heated chambers are used during production. The upper "kiln cartridge" chamber operates at 1,900°F and can contain sufficient material to build a single architectural component.
The lower chamber allows the glass to toughen by slowly cooling.
According the the MIT team, the project synthesizes modern technologies with age-old tools "producing novel glass structures with numerous potential applications".
The scheme is a collaboration between the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, the Mechanical Engineering Department, the MIT Glass Lab and the Wyss Institute.
Glass created by MIT will be exhibited at the Smithsonian Design Museum next year.
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Images via Vimeo