While absolutely stunning, the world-famous Murano glass cannot be easily recycled with normal glass because of the chemical elements used to color it. Therefore, Murano-glass waste must be processed as “special waste”, and this is a significant economic and environmental issue for the Murano Island activities. The VERO2 project conducted by designer Matteo Silverio used 3D printed Murano Glass to explore a possible solution.
During Venice Glass Week 2021, at the Maison203 store, Silverio will present the first collection produced merging Murano glass waste and digital technologies. These, along with extensive support on material development, were provided by Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP, and in particular, Massimo Visonà at who helped fine-tune the 3D printer at the Massa Lombarda based company.
The VERO2 project aims to develop a new way to produce Murano glass objects by locally reusing waste from glass artisan foundries and factories. As a technical partner of VERO2, WASP made its technologies available to accelerate a “blue conversion” of the glass island, promoting circular economy processes using waste materials to create new objects. In order to do this, WASP shared its know-how in fluido-dense material processing in order to make the 3D printing process more reliable.
The specially developed workflow for 3D printed Murano glass transformed glass waste material into something new. A modified Delta WASP Clay printer was used to extrude a compound mostly made of Murano glass powder. The ink is composed of 97% of Murano glass powder which is used to create a paste that can be extruded and deposited using WASP’s proprietary LMD (Liquid Modeling Deposition) technology. The object is subsequently sintered in a kiln at 700°C, so that the non-glassy materials are burnt away from the initial compound.
The sintering process for glass can present a challenge, however, the final result was a 100% Murano glass object. Hence the name VERO2, where the word “Vero” means “Real” in Italian and also “Glass” in Venitian dialect.
This new glass manipulation technique does not want to replace craftsmen, but it tries to enrich their capabilities. This process makes it possible to create objects and decorations that even the most skilled glass masters could not create. So, VERO2 is not only a new way to produce items in a more sustainable way, but also and especially a new tool for glassmakers.
Full project credits:
- Design: SILVERIO, Matteo Silverio, Marta Donà, Paola Careno
- Technical Partner: WASP, Massimo Moretti, Massimo Visonà
- NICOLA MORETTI MURANO, Nicola Moretti, Alberto Moretti