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Solar Sinter – check out this machine that 3D prints with sand

The world has resources in many places if we only look for them. Some people may look at the desert and think there’s nothing out there but sand and sun but one man said, “Oh sweet! Look at all this sand and sun!” And so the Solar Sinter was born, the machine that uses sunlight to 3D print sand.

Markus Kayser built a machine that harnessed the power of the sun to superheat sand to form glass shapes. The process isn’t exactly like 3D printing. The machine is programmed to move the tray in certain patterns so that the sun melts the sand but the artist must constantly apply new layers of sand to finish the sculptures.

It’s an interesting project and that uses modern technology to make something from what is widely considered to be pretty useless. Desert sand is too fine to be used in manufacturing but if we can alter it to make finished products, well if not for usable works, it at least offers some neat artistic value.

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