Not surprisingly, therefore, 3D printing is also used more and more in the packaging industry. For the first time researchers have now developed a technically usable 3D printing process for glass. Individual pieces of glass can be produced through an additive layering process for medical, biotech, optical and IT applications. According to the science magazine Nature, this has been achieved by developers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Before applying a process called Three-Dimensional Printing of Transparent Fused Silica Glass
, Bastian E. Rapp and his team pulverised some quartz glass into particles the size of a nanometre, i.e. 1 millionth of a millimetre. Liquid plastic is hardened as a base material under the impact of light, and the resulting mush is spread thinly on a surface. It is then possible to create any shapes of components, layer after layer.