Solar Sinter: A Solar Powered 3D Printer for Making Glass Objects from Sand

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Solar Sinter: A Solar Powered 3D Printer for Making Glass Objects from Sand

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SLS (selective laser sintering) is one of the processes used by 3D printers.  The SLS process uses powdered raw material such as plastic, glass, metal, ceramic.  A laser is directed at the powdered material to selectively fuse the material.  Layers of the fused material are created to form a 3D object.

Markus Kayser, a designer and researcher born in Germany used the idea behind the SLS technology to develop solar sinter, a 3D printer that uses sand as the powdered raw material and solar energy to produce glass objects.  Both solar energy and sand are available in abundance for free.  So once a solar sinter is made, an unlimited supply of 3D objects can be created for free.

The first solar sinter was manually operated and tested in the Moroccan desert in 2011.  A larger and fully-automated computer driven solar sinter was subsequently developed and tested in Egypt, near Sahara desert in 2012.  This is a brilliant and thought provoking experiment.  According to Markus Kayser, “The machine and the results of these first experiments presented here represent the initial significant steps towards what I envisage as a new solar-powered production tool of great potential.”

Solar Sinter Project

 

 

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