Rethinking the Cast Glass Mould: An Exploration on Novel Techniques for Generating Complex and Customized Geometries

F. Oikonomopoulou, I.S. Bhatia, F.A. van der Weijst, J.T.W. Damen, T. Bristogianni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

42 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores two alternative mould fabrication technologies that allow for the casting of (solid) glass components with a great degree of freedom in shape and size and/or of a customized design, in a cost-efficient way. In specific, the paper discusses the research, design and experimental work conducted at TU Delft on 3D-printed sand moulds and adjustable, high-precision steel moulds. 3D-printed sand moulds can provide a high-accuracy, cost-effective solution for solid glass components of complex geometry and/or of customized design. Although this mould technique is already used for metal castings, it remains still unexplored in the field of glass casting. Accordingly, this paper presents the first experimental findings at TU Delft of this mould technology: mould samples using different binders and treated with various coatings for surface finishing are tested in the high temperatures anticipated in glass (kiln-)casting. Following, 3D-printed moulds are prepared for a given glass geometry and physical glass prototypes are made by kiln-casting. Adjustable metal moulds are another mould technique that offers a degree of freedom in the modulus of a structure. Essentially, components of different sizes and, to an extent, shapes can be generated by the same mould. Accordingly, the design principles and engineering of such a mould and the potential applications and limitations of this technology are discussed. As a proof of concept, an adjustable mould is made using 3D-printed PLA and laser-cut MDF. The mould is used for the generation of wax models of variable forms, which are used to kiln-cast glass prototypes by the lost-wax technique. Based on the findings on both presented mould technologies, guidelines are given on their suitability according to the production volume, the level of accuracy required and the complexity and variation of forms involved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenging Glass Conference
Subtitle of host publicationConference on Architectural and Structural Applications of Glass, CGC 7
EditorsChristian Louter, Freek Bos, Jan Belis
PublisherTU Delft Open
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)978-94-6366-296-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventCGC 7: Challenging Glass Conference (Webinar): 7th International Conference on the Architectural and Structural Application of Glass - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 4 Sep 20204 Sep 2020


ConferenceCGC 7: Challenging Glass Conference (Webinar)


  • cast glass
  • mould technology
  • 3D printing
  • sand moulds
  • adjustable mould
  • structural glass
  • glass mould
  • glass form
  • solid glass
  • glass bricks


Dive into the research topics of 'Rethinking the Cast Glass Mould: An Exploration on Novel Techniques for Generating Complex and Customized Geometries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this