16 May 2012
The Solar Sinter
A new powered solar 3D printer by Markus Kayser
With his first solar machine in his suitcase, Markus Kayser went to the Egyptian desert to convert rays of the sun into a laser, which is able to cut 2D components. It is that desert, with its two elements (sun and sand) that brought him the idea of a new machine, ‘the Solar Sinter’. His idea is the process of converting a powdery substance via a heating process into a solid form. This is called sintering and has become in these last few years the central process in 3D printing.
Markus’s entirely new powered solar machine is completely sustainable because of the use of the abundant supplies sun and sand. Normally it’s lasers, which shapes a variety of supplies, like metals, resins or plastics. But Markus Kayser found a way of using nature’s products to create 3D glassy designs. For example Silicia sand is when heated to the melting point and subsequently cooled solidified as glass. This is the the same process as the original 3D printer makes, and it is equally precise and also creates infinite possible forms.
After a few experiments with the new 3D printer in the Moroccan desert, the fully automated edition of the Solar Sinter arose. With this machine he went for a two-week test period back to where it has all started, the Egyptian desert. He envisages the Solar Sinter as a new solar-powered production tool of great potential.
You can watch the film below to see the full process of sintering and to watch his experiments.