Video: Solar Sinter Project Turns the Desert's Free Abundance of Sand and Sun into 3-D-Printed Glass

Solar Sinter

Markus Kayser

Markus Kayser's Solar Sinter project takes the desert's two most abundant resources, sunlight and sand and puts them to work manufacturing glass objects. Kayser loads the sand into a solar-powered 3-D printer where it serves as the raw material for glass. In a process that's fascinating to watch, concentrated sunlight replaces the laser typically found in 3D printers, melting sand (instead of resin) in patterns to form an abstract sculpture or, more usefully, a bowl.

Kayser tested the Solar Sinter for two weeks in the Sahara desert in May of this year; you can see the results in the video below. The project is currently on display at the Royal College of Arts in London.