Objects printed with SLS are made with powder materials (in this case Sand), which are dispersed in a thin layer on top of the build platform inside an SLS machine.
A laser, which is controlled by a computer that tells it what object to “print,” pulses down on the platform, tracing a cross-section of the object onto the powder.
The laser heats the powder either to just below its boiling point (sintering) or above its boiling point (melting), which fuses the particles in the powder together into a solid form.
Once the initial layer is formed, the platform of the SLS machine drops — usually by less than 0.1mm — exposing a new layer of powder for the laser to trace and fuse together. This process continues again and again until the entire object has been printed.
In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance.
In this experiment sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects using a 3D printing process, that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production technology.
Solar-sintering aims to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and triggers dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource – the sun. Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.
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