HP Labs is working on a glass 3D printer

Gigaom

HP isn’t content to just 3D print in plastic. A job ad for a “robotics scientist for 3D printing” sounds normal enough until you dive into the text and read this:

“HP Labs’ research into printing of inorganic materials is working towards hybrid printing of glass (and other inorganic materials) onto items that are already mass produced,” the ad reads.

3D printing is generally reserved for working with plastic and metal. Glass is unusual. But HP has its reasons. According to a 2012 HP Labs paper:

With 90% of the earth’s crust composed of silicate minerals, there will be no shortage of silica resources. Glass is easy to recycle and is environmentally friendly. Glass is inexpensive but looks precious, is pleasant to the touch and is so familiar that customers will not be disappointed by its fragility— under certain conditions.

3D printed glass. Photo by HP Labs. 3D printed glass. Photo by HP Labs.

There is more than one…

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