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3-D Printing in Glass

2017-12-01 07:57  
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Glass sculpture or studio glass is always referred as the modern use of glass as an artistic medium to produce sculptures. Based on the ancient history, the glassware has been developed in Egypt and Assyria since 5,000 years ago. Murano is best known as the birthplace of modern glass art.

Normally, the main purpose of glass objects created is to make a sculptural or decorative statement. The prices of fine glass sculpture are ranging from a few bucks to tens of thousands of dollars!

A team of engineers and artists working from the University of Washingtons’s Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory has found the way to create glass objects, by using a conventional 3-D printer.


The research team is giving the project name as “The Vitraglyphic Process”, which is a follow-up to the Solheim’s Laboratory success last spring printing with ceramics!

Mr. Mark Ganter, a UW professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Solheim Laboratory stated that it’s possible to print on everything, if we could get a material into powder form at about 20 microns (Note: Twenty microns is less than one thousandth of an inch)!

The 3-dimensional printers are used not only as a cheap, but also as a faster way to build prototype parts. In the typical powder-based 3-D printing system, there’s a thin layer of powder is spread over a platform. A Software directs an inkjet printer to deposit droplets of binder solution. As a result, the binder reacts with the powder to bind the particles together and voila, it creates a 3-D object on the glass!

Mr. Ganter mentioned that the Solheim Laboratory is ready to release its new method of printing glass for general use very soon, if everything is working based on the schedule. [sciencedaily]

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