How hot does your 3D printer’s hot end get? Most low cost printers heat up to 240°C (464°F) at the most because they contain PEEK which starts to get soft if you go much higher. Even a metal hot end with active cooling usually won’t go much higher than 400°C (752°F). Pretty hot, right? [MIT’s] new G3DP printer goes to 1900°F (over 1000°C) and prints optically clear glass.
By changing design and print parameters, G3DP can limit or control light transmission, reflection and refraction. The printer uses a dual heated chamber. The upper chamber acts as a 1900°F kiln while the lower chamber serves to anneal the structures. The print head is an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle.
There’s a patent filed on the process, apparently, and you can read the technical details from [John Klien’s] thesis and in some upcoming publications. Two things we found interesting about the thesis: [John] is an architect and the printer uses GCode.
If you can’t scrounge up any alumina-zircon-silica and a 1900 degree hot end, maybe cutting glass with a CNC is a more achievable goal.