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TU Darmstadt is developing a new technology to connect glass pieces with 3D printed glass joints.

Researchers at the TU Darmstadt envisioned to print glass connection sockets directly on top of a glass plate in order to connect them. As a new layer in additive manufacturing, this new process introduces incremental 3D printing and connecting different panels via 3D printed pieces. Among many potential areas of use, this innovation would allow seamless and invisible joints in glass facades and structurally more rigid spots on structural glass solutions.

There are several methods of additive manufacturing, ranging from selective laser sintering to direct ink writing. All these methods convert 3D drawings into physical models by solidifying layers of material on top of each other. Researchers in TU Darmstadt specifically the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Design (ISMD), the Center for Structural Materials (MPA-IfW) and the Glass Competence Center (GCC) are exploring the potential of additively manufactured glass components in terms of material behavior, printing technology, structural behavior, and design.

Photography: © TU Darmstadt