Hi, till now when we wanted to design a new glass we had to make a mold in order to see how it will look i want to try to accomplish it with a 3D printer i’m new to 3D printing and looking for any help on how i can do it. It doesn’t have to be glass the 3D print just something that will look really similar. Thanks


If your goal is to make a clear prototype you have several options. SLA technology offers, in my opinion, the best clarity. If you are outsourcing the parts this is a good option as outsourcing for SLA is relatively inexpensive. Also you can often request finishing services be done. In the best case the result is almost as nice as a Lucite model. Downside of SLA models is the amount of post processing and environmental factors in operating the machine. Again, if you ar ordering indivdual parts that is not a concern.

Polyjet technology also has a clear option but there are a few tricks to getting your part clear rater than just translucent. Also Polyjet parts tend to be on the expensive side if you are outsourcing / ordering on a per-part basis. Polyjet differentiates itself with multi-material printing. So if you wanted to simulate other elements on, in, or connected to the glass, you could do that in one step (one part).

I am assuming it would not be possible to print the mold itsef. But perhaps there is a process we could figure out where you could make modifications to a printed mold so that it could withstand the temperatures and pressure. If the goal is to only survive one casting, there is a chance.

Please let me know any more questions on this.

Edit: I realized my response was mostly geared toward the high end printers. There are clear options for Formlabs and FFF / FDM type machines. The FFF / FDM type machines (Makerbot, Ultimaker, Airwolf, etc) will srucggle to replicate the clarity and smoothness I assume you would be looking for. Reason is the relatively high layer thicknesses and that b the nature of the process it is very difficult to minimize air gaps and achieve a true clear part.

Formlabs could give you a nice result. It is much less expensive than either SLA or Polyjet. Results will vary more, but it is probably a good place to start. Once you tweak your design for printing and allow for some failed prints here and there, this could be a good option for proof of concept phase.



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I use a FDM desktop printer and have been developing and designing glasses with it. I’ve worn them to the NYC event for 3D Hubs and got a lot of great feedback. They’re in the final stages. Included a picture of the V13 I printed out this morning. Id be more than willing to answer any question that you have. Btw I started creating them just cuz I was sick of paying for $200+ frames made in China that were breaking on me every year.


To clarify, did you mean drinking glasses or optical glasses?

Thanks for answering. I’m talking about drinking glasses

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Ah a drinking glass. Still super easy to create. Not sure about making it dishwasher safe but then again there’s polycarbonate material these days (same plastic water bottles are made from). Simply design it, make sure it’s water tight, and print. I couldn’t imagine it being difficult and your really only limited to your imagination and skill.

Hi, I recently designed a custom shot glass for a customer. I used clear ABS with a thin wall layers and treated it with acetone. The clarity was pretty good. The acetone treatment smooths out the layers to ensure it is liquid tight and helps improve the transparency. Send me a message and we can discuss some details if you want to try it out

The thing i want to accomplish is when we come up with a beautiful new drinking glass even it looks great on paper i would have to see a actual sample before making a decision if i want to mass produce it, because when you see it live you can see that realize if the base needs to be a bit wider etc… i need the sample mainly for design and dimensions purposes I’m not worried about the physical capabilities like leaking issues… i just want to see a live mockup.

check attached images to see what kind of glasses
1_17.jpg 2_13.jpg

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