Engineering reports another breakthrough by 3D printing company Micron3DP. About a year ago, this company “announced its ability to 3D print molten glass.” Now, Micron3DP says they “have installed alpha glass 3D printers within [their] own facilities for internal operation.”
Micron3DP’s new ‘alpha glass’ 3D printers “have build volumes…comparable to industrial fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers at 200 mm x 200 mm x 300 mm and layer thicknesses as fine as 100 microns. Micron3DP’s patent-pending technology relies on an FDM-style approach, heating the material up to 1000 [degrees] Celsius.”
So far, however, “the only materials successfully printed [by Micron3DP’s new ‘alpha glass’ 3D printers] are soda lime and borosilicate [vases and other objects.” In the future, though, Micron3DP’s staff envisions a world where these 3D printers’ capabilities could expand.
“From the looks of the parts printed so far, the material has limited use in terms of optics, but may be useful for its chemical resistance, sterilizability and ability to withstand high temperatures. Micron3DP believes it will be useful in such fields as healthcare, architecture, the arts, security, microfluidics, and scientific research.”
Just imagine: now that the 3D printing industry is beginning to create buildings on a mass scale; not only could construction companies utilize 3D printing to print those buildings’ walls, but also their windows as well!
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Engineering