The Carrot Blog

Drones, check.

Virtual reality, yup.

Wearables, done.

3D-printed glass... what!

Yes, you read that right. 3D-printed glass is now a real thing, thanks to MIT's Mediated Matter. Add that to your list of forward-thinking brainstorm fodder. The project, GD3P, brings the 4,500+ year old tradition of glass molding, blowing and forming to the next level.

Just see for yourself...

Now, lets first appreciate what this means. This isn't part of the Silicon Valley "Uber for X" class of innovation. This is upper-case Innovation. It's a platform for all sorts of new possibilities. The Washington Post did a good job outlining some of the immediate applications of GD3P.

  • Aerospace: 3D printing is legitimately increasing the performance of airplanes, through the creation of geometrically complex parts. GD3P could take this a step further.

  • Fiber optics: Cables that transmit data without loss or distortion are now possible. "Consider the possibility of printing spatial pockets and channels containing photosynthetic media." (No idea what this means, but it seems good!)

  • Architecture: New types of building structures can now be explored. Designers can push the limits in both form and function (think aerodynamic building facades).

These highly functional applications of GD3p are respectable, no doubt. But as demonstrated in the video above, there's also plenty of room for art. And for businesses, the creation of memorable branded experiences for everyday people.

  • What if... a retailer created a pop-up that personalized glass objects in exchange for social engagement?

  • What if... an upcoming video game stoked engagement by developing limited edition objects, co-created by fans?

  • What if... a luxury clothing brand hosted an art exhibit to capture and communicate its latest line's concept?

The obvious ideas are out of the way, now what the eff is my 3D-printed glass strategy?