We Can Now 3D-Print Glass And It Is Entrancing

The process of making glass was already amazing. Take tiny grains of sand, melt them at staggering temperatures with other chemicals, then carefully cool it into a brand new solid, ready to be a vase, window, bottle, or bead. It’s possible to make glass on your grill in the backyard but generally it’s a skill reserved for craftsmen or factories. Then, there’s MIT.

MIT’s Mediated Matter Group has figured out a way to put molten glass through a 3D printer, creating beautiful sculptures. They call their system G3DP, and it is incredibly beautiful to watch.

From a reservoir heated to 1900 degrees Fahrenheit, the printer can lay down individual layers of melted glass, building it up into a finished sculpture. And the printer doesn’t have to make straight lines or simple cylinders. The machine drizzles glass like honey into fascinatingly beautiful shapes.

Though the fabrication process leaves the glass red-hot, when the sculptures cool, they are transparent. Some of the final sculptures will be on display at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum next year.

Watch an incredible video of the process here: