Additive Manufacturing technology has moved far and beyond at Neri Oxman’s Mediated Matter Lab as their most innovative discovery has been exposed: printing optical glass. Achieving results with impressive craft, the team and Oxman herself understand there is an outstanding potential for construction materials for printing in a large scale.
The machine works as follows:
“The G3DP printer features two insulated chambers, one above the other. The upper chamber serves as as kiln, keeping molten glass heated to 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius). This acts as the print cartridge, moving laterally to deposit a continuous stream of liquid glass into the lower chamber via a nozzle made from alumina zirconia silica – a chemical compound that is resistant to heat. The lower chamber acts as the printer bed and anneals, or gradually cools, the glass as it builds up layer by layer.”
This annealing process is in fact the most important part of the machine as it prevents the glass from shattering when facing temperature changes or impact. Oxman claims the G3DP could be used in the future for making complete building skins where daylighting can be controlled by computational efforts. This next video will show you how exquisite the impressions have been achieved and the textures and reflections obtained.
Find the complete report on their research here.
Image source: Architect Magazine
Video source: Mediated Matter Lab
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