MIT's Mediated Matter Group made a video showing off their first of its kind optically transparent glass printing process. It will soothe your soul.
Called G3DP (Glass 3D Printing) and developed in collaboration with MIT's Glass Lab, the process is an additive manufacturing platform with dual heated chambers. The upper chamber is a "Kiln Cartridge", operating at a mind-boggling 1038C, while the lower chamber works to anneal (heat then cool in order to soften the glass). The special 3D printer is not creating glass from scratch, but rather working with the preexisting substance, then layering and building out fantastical shapes like a robot glassblower.
It's wonderfully soothing to watch in action -- and strangely delicious-looking. "Like warm frosting," my colleague Andrew Liszewski confirmed. "Center of the Earth warm frosting."
Smart people who made this happen: The G3DP project was created in collaboration between the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, the Mechanical Engineering Department, the MIT Glass Lab and Wyss Institute. Researchers include John Klein, Michael Stern, Markus Kayser, Chikara Inamura, Giorgia Franchin, Shreya Dave, James Weaver, Peter Houk and Prof. Neri Oxman.