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MIT's self-assembly lab USES rapid liquid printing to create lamps and vases in minutes
Aug 03, 2018

MIT's self-assembly lab and Swiss designer Christophe Guberan used innovative rapid liquid 3D printing technology to showcase a range of new lighting and household items at Patrick Parrish gallery in New York. In the process, the robot "stretches" the gel in its suspension and then inflates it to its appropriate size.


4D printing is a new technology developed by MIT's self-assembly lab. It allows physical content (usually 3D printing) to retain embedded self-assembly instructions that can be activated by certain environmental conditions, such as heat or air. In 2017, the self-assembly lab developed a new 4D printing method to create objects: rapid liquid printing (RLP). RLP USES a variety of extruded materials to physically absorb 3D space in liquid gel suspensions - from rubber to foam to plastic - only to stick to itself and not to the gel. Because there is no building room other than a gel barrel, the technology could be significantly scaled up and could even be used to print mass customised products in 3D.



Now, the 4D manufacturing technology is preparing products for the market, including lamps and vases. For Liquid to Air, the team printed vases, lamps, pendants and wall lamps made from elastic silicone and inflated them into circular buoyancy devices with plastic finishes. Printed silicone rubber is a material that can hardly be produced with any other printing technology. It allows the skin to stretch around any structure, making the object much larger than its original print size.



Liquid to Air is not the first collaboration between a self-assembly lab and designer Christophe Guberan. Last year, the self-assembly lab, Christophe Guberan, Marcelo Coelho and Steelcase Inc., demonstrated the stretchable light created using Rapid Liquid Printing. Print the skin in an 18 "cube jar, suspend it in a gel, remove and wash with water. This unique light-colored skin can be customized by simply stretching the skin around different internal frames to create different sizes or geometric shapes.



The lights and vases are available for public use, ranging from $95 to $3,200, depending on the size and complexity of the object. Liquid to Air: Pneumatic Objects at present on August 26 in Manhattan at 50 Lispenard street, Patrick Parrish gallery.

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