MIT’s Mediated Matter Group Unveils Transparent Glass 3D Printer

3d printed glass

The innovations just keep on coming in the 3D printing world.  Today we have 3D printed glass – tomorrow, what next?


Personally, I can see great potential for this in the arts and crafts world.  Larger objects as opposed to jewellery, although it’s dependent on the nozzle size to a certain extent.  3D printed and laser engraved jewellery is of course traditionally quite small in size and there’s no mention of the 3D printer nozzle size.  So in time if the nozzle is too large (and it does look quite large currently), perhaps the boffins can work to extrude through a typical sized nozzle that we’re used to with the plastic extruder type machines.

This is a cool shot of the nozzle extruding glass.  Can you spot the picture of the alien frozen in the bottom of the image? 😉







Knowing a number of glass workers, I understand how tricky glass is to work with.  In particular, Cathy Carr works with knitted glass, and had great trouble getting a consistent annealing in a kiln.  A difference of a few degrees, or an extra few minutes (even seconds sometimes) in the kiln over a firing can make all the difference.


It’s fantastic that theoretically we’re seeing the whole art and science of glass working moving on a huge leap.  This, potentially makes the whole process even more rigorously controlled and less prone to human and machine error.

Although there will obviously still be a massive demand for hand worked glass that we currently have, as not everyone will have access to their own 3D glass printer.


Source: MIT’s Mediated Matter Group Unveils Transparent Glass 3D Printer – SolidSmack

Laser cut acrylic necklaces (and how to care for acrylic jewellery)

laser cut necklace

Laser cut acrylic jewellery

This is named “ZEBRA necklace” and is apparently fabricated using a 3D printer.  Although to me it looks more like it was made using a laser cutter and some flat black acrylic.  But what do I know?!  I know people seem to confuse the idea of 3D printing and laser cutting all the time.  I’m sure the makers know what they were doing though 🙂

So it’s clever.  The series of strips gives flexibility to the necklace (like a variant on the Snij hinge), and connects with magnets, apparently.  I’d be a bit worried about how delicate it is, as thin acrylic can snap, especially where you ask it to take stress like at 90 or even 180 degree bends.  The clever thing here is any stress will be distributed over several points, so no one point will ever get overloaded.  That said, it’s maybe best to treat it with care.

Caring for acrylic jewellery

Generally speaking, acrylic jewellery is as low maintenance as it gets.  A quick wipe with a soft dry cloth will get rid of smears and smudges.  A tiny drop of washing up liquid on a damp cloth will help if anything stubborn has got on there.

Long term wear of your favourite piece of jewellery may end up with it being damaged through scuffing or scraping.  Worst case scenario, it ends up broken.  Most likely it’s joints that snap.  Anywhere where there’s a weak point is a potential candidate for breaking.

Repairing acrylic jewellery

If you did have to fix your broken acrylic jewellery, you’d be advised to use an acrylic cement such as Tensol 12 or Tensol 70.  Tensol 12 is quite viscous and fills gaps well without running (alternatives would be WeldOn 16 and Acryfix 192).

Tensol 70 on the other hand is a water-thin catalyst cement which is better for larger areas which need a stronger bond than Tensol 12.  It comes unmixed in two parts, which you mix together and apply through a fine syringe (if you ever wanted to play Doctor, now’s your chance).  So the surfaces to be joined must be smooth and clean so the cement flows evenly between them.  Capillary action is a term I don’t use very often, but it’s what’s going on here – the water-thin cement is drawn into the cracks and literally melts the acrylic it touches, creating a new layer of acrylic where there was a gap.  Tensol 70 is completely clear in colour and evaporates faster than you can say “that was quick”, so it’s pointless trying to wipe away any spills. Just get it right the first time.  Oh, and use a syringe with a non-rubber plunger as the solvent makes the rubber swell.

So, magnets are cool.  Laser cut acrylic necklaces are cool.  Mending acrylic jewellery is easy with some handy Tensol, but wear gloves and don’t breathe the fumes, kids.

We didn’t make it at mekkit, but we wish we did…

Source: ZEBRA necklace by Rentaro on Etsy

Laser cut wood LP


As someone who does laser cutting for a living, I have to say this is awesome!  When I first saw it, I thought, well maybe you could make a record that sounds, you know, appalling.  But it actually appears to be rather good.  Radiohead though.. ?!