When you were a kid, maybe you built a parabolic solar cooker as a science project and thought you were pretty hot stuff. Well, Markus Kayser, who is clearly not a kid, but has the lateral-thinking skills of one, did something much more impressive: he built a working 3D printer that utilizes the sun’s rays to sinter solid objects out of desert sand. The Solar Sinter (based on selective laser sintering) uses the Saharan sand as the medium and sunlight from a Fresnel lens in place of a laser. By using the sun’s rays instead of a laser and sand instead of powder based material used in modern 3D printers, Markus 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.
This is an awesome illustration of how high-tech industrial design can be sustainably democratized. Booyah! Any thoughts?