You can now 3d print with glass


It looks like something straight out of a fairytale yet these stunning glass sculptures haven't been sculpted or blown, but created using breakthrough 3D printing. 

The technique, which can create complex designs like pretzels or castles that are just micrometres in length, could pave the way for use of silica glass in construction.

The ability to manufacture glass in detail never seen before could change the way we use one of the oldest materials known to mankind.

The new technique, devised by Bastian Rapp and colleagues from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, could lead to the development of more sophisticated lenses and filters. 

Objects printed in 3D are normally made from polymers.

But glass makes for an excellent printing material because it has unique optical and physical properties, the researchers said.

The technique requires a fine glass powder suspended in a liquid, and a standard 3D printer.