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.