The first public demonstration of MIT’s rapid liquid 3D printing process took place at the Design Miami event.
Rapid liquid printing (RLP) was developed by furniture and interior design company Steelcase and the Self Assembly lab at MIT, a cross-disciplinary research facility co-directed by Skylar Tibbits and Jared Laucks.
Visitors to Design Miami were able to watch as a robotic arm deposited a rubber like material within a glass tank filled with a viscous gel. The gel acts as a support material and as the desired object is created a chemical-curing process solidifies the design.
Previous applications of rapid liquid printing have seen the creation of furniture, such as the tables presented by Steelcase’s Christophe Guberan during Milan Design Week.
At Design Miami RLP was used to make lamp shapes and bags. According to Dezeen, the objects were created in a matter of minutes and available to purchase at the event.
The technique can be used with a variety of “filaments” made from rubber, foam, or plastics.
Fast-fabrication of furniture and more
The RLP demonstrator at the booth was set up with a build chamber large enough to accommodate the lamps and bags made during the show. However, the technique is scalable and larger vats can be incorporated to allow the creation of furniture or other more sizeable creations.
“Traditional 3D printing is restricted by slow speeds, scale constraints, and poor material quality, which makes it unreliable as a mainstream manufacturing process,” the team said.
“With rapid liquid printing, manufacturing can be reimagined as an artistic experience unlimited by scale or gravity, asking us to rethink design, production, uniformity, and product life-cycles.”
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