Desert3d digital fabricators are all the rage among DIY designers, and promise to decentralize the physical economy in the way the Internet decentralized the information economy. On the other hand, many environmentalists just see the fabber as another energy-sucking contraption that fills our world with plastic gewgaws.

Now an art student has juryrigged a “solar sinter,” replacing a fabber’s high-tech laser with focused sunlight and toxic resin with sand. It all fits in a suitcase he brought to the Egyptian desert for a test run.

(via Mark Daggett)


Markus Kayser, an MA student at the Royal College of Art, has built a 3D printing device that concentrates the Sun’s rays through a glass ball lens to such an intensity that it forms a beam that can heat silica sand to melting point…The process of converting a powerdery substance through heating into a solid form is called sintering and is used in rapid prototyping.

Industrial 3D printers tend to use lasers to create very precise 3D objects from a range of powdered plastics, resins and metals. The Solar Sinter is essentially the same technology but replaces the powdered resins with sand and the laser with the Sun’s rays. It is fully-automated to convert 3D designs into glass objects.

Markus Kayser – Solar Sinter Project from Markus Kayser on Vimeo.

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