If print supports have ever caused you grief, know that there’s an alternate printing method in the works. First: get yourself a vat of industrial gel in which to print.
Rapid Liquid Printing(RLP) is being developed in collaboration by Michigan-based company [Steelcase] and [Skylar Tibbits’] Self Assembly Lab at MIT. RLP is touting advantages over traditional 3D printing technology such as reduced print times, a higher quality print, and enabling larger scale prints — all without supports!
Working with rubber, plastic, or foam, the printing material is injected by nozzle into a basin of industrial gel. That gel suspends the print throughout the process without bonding to it and the finished product is simply lifted out of the gel and rinsed off. Shown off at the Design Miami event earlier this month, onlookers could pick up finished lampshades and tote bags after mere minutes.
Now, this could lead to an entirely different set of extrusion issues — but only minutes later at most. The same can be said for another MIT project that continues to push what more conventional 3D printers are capable of.