The future of 4D design with Rapid Liquid Printing (RLP) by MIT

MIT offers development room for smart minds and one of the several internal organizations that create this atmosphere of experimentation and innovation is the Self-Assembly Lab, a research laboratory dedicated to the development of technologies of self-assembling and programmable materials. The latest creation, Rapid Liquid Printing (RLP), is arousing lively interest as it can potentially modify the way of conceiving and producing the current 3D printing of objects.

It is common opinion that 3D printing has not taken off as mainstream manufacturing process adopted by companies owing to three limitations: production speed, scale constraints and poor quality of materials. The main characteristic of RLP resides in the item creation by means of a robot that designs in a suspension of liquid gel that supports the object. This process is not only faster than 3D printing but it also allows creating big-size objects and of much higher complexity by using industrial grade materials. The products that exploit this technology are part of a collection created by the Swiss designer Christoph Guberan and by Self-Assembly Lab and they were on show and purchasable at the Patrick Parrish Gallery in New York, including printed objects of elastic silicon that can be swelled, thus exploiting a material that was hardly used with standard 3D printers.

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