Additive manufacturing startup Maple Glass Printing is shaking up the AM game with Maple™, a 3D glass printer which the company touts as the “world’s affordable 3D glass printer”.
According to the product brochure, the Maple2™ should allow the user to create “complex digital designs” with glass thanks to a “unique technology” that removes the inconveniences typically associated with glass manufacturing.
In contrast to polymers and metals, glass has received little attention in the AM industry. Certain factors such as its viscous liquid phase, slow melting, and reduced optical quality due to bubbling are hurdles manufacturers have to overcome when dealing with glass.
3D printing with glass also poses a challenge due to high-energy demands and high temperature stress.
“With our 3D printers, customers will be able to create rapid prototypes with unique designs and iterate with high repeatability,” the brochure said.
Driven by sustainability, Maple Glass’ mission is to reduce glass waste through glass-based additive manufacturing.
“By using recycled glass, our patent-pending machine can print detailed glass pieces with an economically viable process.”