MIT’s Media Lab worked with MIT’s Glass Lab to develop a 3D glass printer. It consists of two parts, a kiln that heats the glass to 1900°F, and a lower chamber that anneals (cools) the molten glass so that it can be shaped into one of the programmed pieces. It’s mesmerizing to watch super-heated goo print out, and the results are stunning:
The printer’s nozzle, by the way, is alumina-zircon-silica, which is then cooled with an air compressor when they want to snap off the printing process.
The project is called “G3DP” and was brought together by the Mediated Matter Group, headed up by Neri Oxman, an Israeli artist teaching at MIT. If you want to see some of the finished glass pieces in person, they will be on display next year in an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.