Products made with rapid liquid printing

Patrick Parrish Gallery, in collaboration with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and Christophe Guberan, presents a manufacturing facility based on rapid liquid printing., which prints various products, from tote bags to lights.

Rapid liquid printing is a 3D printing technique developed last year by MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and Steelcase. With traditional 3D printing, layers of material are slowly built up, and sometimes need support structures. The rapid liquid printing technique “draws” objects in a matter of minutes in a gel suspension, using high-grade materials like rubber, foam or plastic. Read more about the process here.

Patrick Parrish Gallery is the first to show the technique to the public, 3D printing commercial objects. The space serves as a manufacturing facility in which a robot instantly prints tote bags and art objects inside a glass tank of translucent gel. After printing, each product is removed, cleaned, and put on display. Visitors are able to move around the tank to see the robot at work, and the printed objects are for sale.

In addition to the tote bags, the method is also used to create a stretchable light. The skin of the light is printed within a cubic tank, before it’s removed an washed with water. The light is made from silicon rubber, a material that is nearly impossible to use with any other printing technology.

The material can be stretched around a light tube or other structure. The stretch ability of the material minimises the size and duration of printing while also creating minimal volume. The light skin can be customised to create different sizes or geometries by simply stretching the skin around different internal frames.

The gallery also sells objects like vases and pen trays.

Earlier, MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab collaborated with BMW. Click here for more on this project.

Photos: MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab / Patrick Parrish Gallery