Friday, May 10, 2013

3D Printing Glass in the Sahara Desert? No Problem.

Egypt, 2011
When you think of 3D printing, your mind probably goes to industrial places first - the Rust Belt, manufacturing-heavy countries, urban factories. The Sahara Desert is probably one of the last places you'd think to look, right?

Wrong, according to Markus Keyser.

Using natural elements - sun and sand - and with a little help from science - solar panels and SLS technology - Keyser has created a 3D printer to make glass objects from sand:

By using the sun’s rays instead of a laser and sand instead of resins, I had the basis of an entirely new solar-powered machine and production process for making glass objects that taps into the abundant supplies of sun and sand to be found in the deserts of the world.
 We have often referred to 3D printing as a possible source for a more sustainable and affordable future, and between Stratasys 3D printing machines and brilliant innovators like Markus Keyser, that future is getting closer every day.

You can see more images of the machine, the test run, and the first glass objects Keyser created, at his website here: http://www.markuskayser.com/work/solarsinter/

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