Watching MIT’s Glass 3D Printer Is Absolutely Mesmerizing
MIT’s Mediated Matter Group made a video showing off their first of its kind optically transparent glass printing process. It will soothe your soul.
Called G3DP (Glass 3D Printing) and developed in collaboration with MIT’s Glass Lab, the process is an additive manufacturing platform with dual heated chambers. The upper chamber is a “Kiln Cartridge,” operating at a mind-boggling 1900°F, while the lower chamber works to anneal (heat then cool in order to soften the glass). The special 3D printer is not creating glass from scratch, but rather working with the preexisting substance, then layering and building out fantastical shapes like a robot glassblower.
It’s wonderfully soothing to watch in action—and strangely delicious-looking. “Like warm frosting,” my colleague Andrew Liszewski confirmed. “Center of the Earth warm frosting.”
by Kaila Hale-Stern | 8/20/15 4:30pm
A New High-Res 3D Printer Can Print Objects Smaller Than Blood Cells
Those telltale layered stripe marks all over a 3D-printed object might soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new high-res printing technique that’s actually capable of creating 3D objects smaller than a red blood cell.
A team of researchers from South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, led by professor Park Jang-ung, have developed a new kind of 3D printing technique that works not unlike the color printer you have at home. Except that this electrohydrodynamic inkjet uses special inks that can be layered to form microscopic 3D shapes like arched bridges, zig-zag structures, and pillars.
The new 3D printing technique can actually create patterns as small as 0.001-millimeters in size. For comparison, a red blood cell measures in at 0.006 to 0.008-millimeters, so it’s actually capable of creating shapes too small for the naked human eye to see.
An obvious application of the new technology would be to further refine the 3D printing process to the point where objects have no visible layering or textures. They’d be—at least in theory—smooth to the touch as soon as they came off the printer. But a more immediate application involves using these new techniques for 3D printing electronic components and circuit boards, making it easier and faster to create, refine, and perfect prototypes.
by Andrew Liszewski | 6/23/15 2:15pm
This Is the First 3D Printed Part That’s Approved for a Jet Engine
3D printing has just reached another major milestone as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has officially approved GE’s T25 as the first 3D printed part cleared for use on a commercial jet engine.
GE is now working with Boeing to retrofit over 400 of its GE90-94B engines—used on the modern 777—with the new part.
But before you get second thoughts about ever flying again, it’s important to note that this part wasn’t created using the consumer-grade 3D printers that churn out toys, smartphone cases, and other plastic trinkets. The fist-sized silver metal housing designed to protect a compressor inlet temperature sensor from icing was created using a 3D printer using additive manufacturing techniques. But instead of extruding plastic from a heated nozzle, a highly-accurate laser is directed at layer after layer of cobalt-chrome powder to slowly build up the part over time.
What you’re left with is a part made from lightweight cobalt-chrome alloy metal that’s just as strong and durable as parts made with more traditional manufacturing techniques like metal stamping or milling. Except that using a 3D printer means these parts are actually faster to produce and refine, they can be far more complex in their design, and they result in little to no wasted material during production.
by Andrew Liszewski | 4/20/15 10:15am