Apr 30, 2017

New Rapid Liquid Printing 3D Printing Process from MIT

Very smart people from MIT developed a novel 3d printing process called "Rapid Liquid Printing" where a material is injected into a gelatine cube medium that acts as a support. It increases the speed and you can get complex geometries.

You can see it in this video:





Process description:
In collaboration with Steelcase, we are presenting a new experimental process called Rapid Liquid Printing, a breakthrough 3D printing technology. Rapid Liquid Printing physically draws in 3D space within a gel suspension, and enables the creation of large scale, customized products made of real-world materials. Compared with other techniques we believe this is the first development to combine industrial materials with extremely fast print speeds in a precisely controlled process to yield large-scale products.
3D printing hasn’t taken off as a mainstream manufacturing process for three main reasons: 1) it’s too slow compared to conventional processes like injection molding, casting, milling, etc. 2) it’s limited by scale – although it’s good for creating small components, it’s not possible to produce large scale objects 3) the materials are typically low-quality compared to industrial materials.
Rapid Liquid Printing addresses all of these limitations: it is incredibly fast (producing structures in a matter of minutes), designed for large scale products (you can print an entire piece of furniture) and uses real-world, industrial-grade materials.

It looks interesting as a concept, but practicality is questionable. It takes a lot of gel support material, there are various foces, hard to design geometry due to the medium, the extruder "needle" effects the object geometry, materials need to be easy to separate... Still, it looks very promising for some future advanced applications and bioprinting.

MITs Self-Assembly Lab page:

http://www.selfassemblylab.net/

Detalied article on Dezeen:

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/04/28/mit-self-assembly-lab-rapid-liquid-printing-technology-produce-furniture-minutes-design/