Glass can be molded, formed, blown, plated, sintered and now 3D printed. Neri Oxman and her Mediated Matter Group team has just unveiled their new glass printing platform: G3DP: Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass. A collaboration with the Glass Lab at MIT, G3DP is the first of its kind and can 3D print optically transparent glass with stunning precision.
“G3DP is an additive manufacturing platform designed to print optically transparent glass,” Oxman told ArchDaily. “The tunability enabled by geometrical and optical variation driven by form, transparency and color variation can drive; limit or control light transmission, reflection and refraction, and therefore carries significant implications for all things glass: aerodynamic building facades optimized for solar gain, geometrically customized and variable thickness lighting devices and so on.”
“Now consider printable optoelectronics, or the possibility of combining optical fibers for high-speed data transmission by light, combined within glass printed building facades. Or consider the possibility of printing spatial pockets and channels containing photosynthetic media. Think Centre Pompidou without functional or formal partitions. Instead consider a single transparent building skin that can integrate multiple functions and can be shaped to tune its performance,” says Oxman.