A huge 3D printer, powered by solar energy, can be used to create rigid constructions in the desert using sand.
We all already know that sand is made of glass, just play Minecraft a little to find out. The process to achieve this requires energy, but nothing that the Sun cannot constantly generate.
With that in mind, a 3D printer was born capable of making rigid glass sculptures using desert sand, as can be seen in this video:
The 3D printer is called Solar Sinter and was built by Markus Kayser, at the moment it is not something that can be bought or sold in mass within Amazon.
The models are first drawn on a computer, as with a traditional 3D printer. Then a lens is responsible for projecting sunlight into a box, reaching temperatures of about 1,500 degrees.
That heat melts the sand, and transforms it into a moldable material, enough to be used in the 3D printer as if it were PLS or resin.
The machine was tested for the first time in the Sahara desert, and the result has been a great success.
The interesting engineering video shows just one example of what has been done, but opens the doors to endless possibilities.
Imagine that houses, shelters or any other necessary structure can be built among those who live there, or that a whole industry can be created for the sustainable manufacture of objects that export the material to the rest of the world, generating income for thousands of families. It could also be used on other planets, to create structures “from scratch” as needed.
Unfortunately, this printer was published on the website of its creator in 2011, and since then we have not seen evolution in the subject, so it seems that nobody is interested in the idea of creating glass sculptures from the infinite sand of the desert .