From 3D Printing to Rapid Liquid Printing

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Rapid Liquid Printing (RLP) is the new frontier of 3D printing.

The process, developed by the MIT’s self-assembly lab, consists in printing inside a gel. The thickness of the gel prevents the print from sinking (or even moving), allowing designers to draw without worrying about gravity.

Without having to work up designs layer by layer like traditional 3D printing methods, RLP allows printing objects to happen faster, on a scale as big as the machine will permit.

Thanks to a chemical reaction, the design then quickly hardens in the gel and is ready to be used without any need for finishing steps.

The first liquid printed designs were showcased at Design Miami in 2017.

The potential application for this technology is vast. Although RLP is currently mostly used for design products, BMW already started examining the technology and recently partnered with the MIT’s lab to present an exhibition called “liquid printed pneumatics”.

The most recent collection of functional objects was unveiled at New York’s Patrick Parrish Gallery. The market-ready objects include vases and lamps made from the silicone material and are blown up whilst still in the gel to achieve their shape. they are available to the public for prices ranging from $95 to $3,200 depending on the size and complexity of the object.



Categories: Design & Process