The molten glass sewing machine

P. T. Brun, Chikara Inamura, Daniel Lizardo, Giorgia Franchin, Michael Stern, Peter Houk, Neri Oxman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We present a fluid-instability-based approach for digitally fabricating geometrically complex uniformly sized structures in molten glass. Formed by mathematically defined and physically characterized instability patterns, such structures are produced via the additive manufacturing of optically transparent glass, and result from the coiling of an extruded glass thread. We propose a minimal geometrical model-And a methodology-To reliably control the morphology of patterns, so that these building blocks can be assembled into larger structures with tailored functionally and optically tunable properties. This article is part of the themed issue 'Patterning through instabilities in complex media: Theory and applications'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20160156
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2093
StatePublished - May 13 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


  • Coiling
  • Glass
  • Honey
  • Instability
  • Pattern
  • Viscous thread


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