Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are at it again with their latest invention – 3DGP! Keep reading to learn more. (Image: Engadget.com)
Recently, MIT unveiled their new 3D-printing method that uses transparent glass rather than plastic.
In collaboration with the school’s Mechanical Engineering Department, the MIT Glass Lab, as well as the Wyss Institute and Mediated Matter Group, have created their new method of 3D printing, otherwise known as 3DGP.
Their method essentially works in the same way as a conventional 3D printer in that it’s an additive manufacturing platform that’s designed to print optically-transparent glass.
The team of researchers found a better way to modulate the light transmission, reflection and refraction qualities by accurately varying the thickness of the print.
In order to carry out the process, two heated-chambers are stacked one on top of the other. The first chamber acts as a kiln cartridge and works at 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit while the other chamber melts and hardens the structures together.
Though you never want glass to break, this breakthrough in 3D printing could lead to advances in the creation of fiber optic cables that can transmit data more efficiently. Furthermore, 3DGP could open the innovative gates that could lead to the creation of more complex structures and some that we’d never even imagined could be possible.
For now though, commercial applications for 3DGP don’t exist. However, some of the glass structures that the team has already created will be showcased at an art exhibit at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York in 2016.
Until then, let’s all marvel at the mesmerizing innovation that is MIT’s 3DGP!
Copyright Inventionland, 2015