Monday, 04 Jul, 2011 Technology

Latest Invention: Device Uses 3D Printer and Solar Power to Convert Sand Into Glass


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Today sunlight is harnessed for a variety of purposes including powering homes and gadgets, and cooling interiors. Markus Kayser, a graduate student, came up with another way of using sun's rays.

The young inventor decided to build a device that harnesses solar power to create glassware. In order to fulfill his project, Markus traveled to Egypt and carried out his experiment in the sands of Sahara.

Dubbed "Solar Sinter", the device makes use of a 3D digital printer and sunlight to convert sand into wonderful glass bowls and sculptures.

It is worth mentioning that the Solar Sinter is made of seven main components: a photovoltaic panel, a focal point to attract sunlight, a sun tracker, Fresnel lens used to magnify sun's rays, a battery, electronics to control the whole process and a silver tent called "office", where the inventor hides from the hot sun.

The 3D printer is able to create virtually any shape, making not only glass bowls but furniture as well.

Within the device, the sand serves as an alternative for conventional resin during production. The sands of Sahara are melted and turned into different shapes using the printer, reports Creative Applications.

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