MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, Steelcase and award-winning product designer Christophe Guberan have collaborated on a new technology aimed to break the traditional constraints of 3D printing.

Instead of the traditional layer-by-layer printing, the new Rapid Liquid Process prints inside of a gel — essentially allowing a product designer to draw in 3D space without the limitations of gravity.

A two-part liquid polyurethane is extruded into the gel using a CNC machine and a nozzle. The liquids then mix, allowing a real, solid object to be created in mere minutes.

A two-part mixing process allows the material to be chemically-cured instead of set using light or temperature. The technique mixes, extrudes and cures all while the 3D printing is underway.

Check out the process below:

Steelcase says the new liquid process addresses limitations that have plagued 3D printing for decades: slow speed, small-scale, and low-quality materials.

The collaboration between Steelcase and MIT will continue to seek further answers regarding materials, scale and improved printing processes, says Steelcase.

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