Research team develops 3D printing technology for optically transparent glass


   MIT Media Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, MIT Glass Laboratory and Harvard University's Weiss Institute have jointly developed a new system called G3DP that can be 3D printed Optically transparent glass, the research team is led by Professor Neri Oxman.  The new platform is based on the concept of dual heating chambers. The upper chamber is used as a so-called kiln cartridge, while the lower chamber is used to anneal mature structures. The kiln cartridge works at a temperature of approximately 1900°F (1000°C) and contains enough material to create a single-structure glass device. The molten material passes through an alumina-zircon-silica funnel nozzle. The project combines modern technology, ancient glass manufacturing tools and techniques, but has produced new glass structures and developed potential applications. '3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing' published an article describing the printer extruding materials to make optically transparent glass: 'The printer includes scalable modular components that can operate at the high temperatures required to process glass from a molten state to annealed devices. Processing parameters Such as controlling the temperature, layer height and feed rate of the glass viscosity and flow rate, adjusting and tailoring its shape and properties to print out ideal devices, such as CAD models.   'We explore, define and code geometric limits and winding patterns, as well as various colors Integration into a controllable process contributes to a new design and manufacturing space. The printed glass part verifies the strong adhesion between the layer and the satisfactory optical clarity. '

   Optical glass 3D printing process It is reported that the production of glass parts can be highly replicated, and glass constructions are similar to those traditionally obtained: 'So 3D printed glass objects can be extended to achieve cross-scale and functional structures Domain, including product and structural design. 'The MIT and Harvard University research teams said that their research lies in the intersection of design, engineering, science and art, which represents a highly interdisciplinary approach. Professor Oxman’s research team concluded: 'The preliminary print material characteristics are in form. , Mechanical and optical performance. The results show that when the material strength of the manufacturing chamber is heated to about 60% for processing, the layers can be strongly adsorbed. From an optical point of view, the geometry of different samples determines high transparency and complex caustics. '   The system developer said when talking about future development opportunities: 'We expect two trends in the value of the additive manufacturing of molten glass: First, the processing technology has a lot of freedom in the form of glass formation, which makes The creation of structures is characterized by higher-level structures and environmental performance through complex geometric structures. At present, we are paying attention to how to use engineering gains based on geometric complexity, especially in the aerospace industry, improving by 40% or more in some cases. performance. Second, the custom creation of glass objects provides opportunities for complex holders, fluids, and laboratory appliances customized for individual applications. Looking to the future, the simultaneous development of printers and printed glass object designs will produce higher performance systems and increasingly complex novel objects. ”

   Cross-sectional view and main features of the printer system

Global Glass Network ( News Editorial Department

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