3D printing in Egypt!

Written by Walter on 20/12/2011

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Using solar power to drive steppers and a huge lens to melt sand into glass this Solar Sinter shows us that solar power is really a great thing.

Stumbled upon this awesome peace of art by Markus Kayser while searching for a better extrusion bolt for my own 3d printer (which unfortunately is not driven by solar and sand alone, but hey I'm getting some solar panels on my roof soon and then I'm pretty close ;) ).

Markus writes:

In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance.

In this experiment sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects using a 3D printing process, that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production technology.

Solar-sintering aims to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and triggers dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource – the sun. Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.

My remarks

It's unfortunate that he needs to drag the sand with a ruler manually on every new Z-layer change. With a form of sand feeder and some extra steppers this could be automated, then it would require zero human labor apart from designing the 3d model.

Apart from that it was indeed a nice project. Also you could just wire up some solar panels to a regular 3d printer nowadays. All you need is 12v with enough amps (about 4 is enough without heated bed, about 13 is enough if you add a heated bed). The really nice thing is, he uses sand instead of filament as resource.

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