Markus Keyser and Solar SinterWhat are the two most abundant resources you can find at a desert? Yes you are right: Sunlight and sand. Sunlight is a great energy source with high potentials, most of all, its free. Sand contains abundant amount of Silica (Silicon Dioxide) in the form of quartz. Silica is primarily used for making glasses for windows, drinking glasses and bottles. A Majority of Optical fibers are also made from Silica.
Markus Keyser is the inspiration behind Solar Sinter. The Solar Sinter project uses concentrated sunlight with a modified 3D printer to melt sand and produce glass objects. Markus completed and tested the manual Sinter in Feb-2011 and remarkable results pushed him to produce the now automated Solar Sinter Project. Completed in May-2011, the project has been tested in Sahara Desert near Siwa in Egypt. The whole process of melting sand and transforming into objects is fun to watch and can can be viewed in the video below: