Solar Sintering: 3D printing and the sun

This idea struck a chord with us here at AatI HQ in the light of our recent involvement with the University of Warwick‘s Additive Layer Manufacturing research.

Markus Kayser, as part of his Design Products MA at the Royal College of Art, explores the questions of energy production and raw material shortages by taking a rapid prototyping machine into the Sahara Desert and using the world’s most efficient energy source to turn sand into solid products.

The artist is careful to point out that, “Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking” and it cannot help but succeed in this regard as the film highlights the awesome and under utilised power of the sun.

With the sight of a perfectly constructed bowl emerging from the 3D printer, I imagined great Saharan production lines churning out crockery, ornaments and all manner of things and I couldn’t help but wonder about the possibility (or inevitability) of the desert running out of sand…

Awesome idea for a thought provoking art project and springboard for productive ideas in manufacturing and its sustainable future.


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