Industrial designer and tinkerer Markus Kayser spent the better part of a year building and experimenting with two fantastic devices that harness the sun’s power in some of the world’s harshest climates. The first he calls a Sun Cutter, a low-tech light cutter that uses a large ball lens to focus the sun’s rays onto a surface that’s moved by a cam-guided system. As the surface moves under the magnified light it cuts 2D components like a laser. The project was tested for the first time in August 2010 in the Egyptian desert and Kayser used thin plywood to create the parts for a few pairs of pretty sweet shades. But he didn’t stop there.
Next, Kayser began to examine the process of 3D printing. Merging two of the deserts most abundant resources, nearly unlimited quantities of sand and sun, he created the Solar Sinter, a device that melts sand to create 3D objects out of glass. Via his web site:
This process of converting a powdery substance via a heating process into a solid form is known as sintering and has in recent years become a central process in design prototyping known as 3D printing or SLS (selective laser sintering). […] By using the sun’s rays instead of a laser and sand instead of resins, I had the basis of an entirely new solar-powered machine and production process for making glass objects that taps into the abundant supplies of sun and sand to be found in the deserts of the world.
In mid-May the Solar Sinter was tested for a two week period in the deserts of Siwa, Egypt, resulting in the amazing footage above. It’s incredible to think that the solar energy generated for both machines is used only to power electronics, servos and the mechanism that tracks the sun, while the power used to cut wood and melt sand is just raw, concentrated sunlight. While I fully understand the mechanics and science at work in Kayser’s devices, there’s something about them that just seems magical. Definitely head over to his website to explore more photos and info. (via stellar, sorry can’t link the post for some reason)
New work from Kate MccGwire (previously) who uses thousands of meticulously placed feathers to create sweeping, undulating sculptures that spill from pipes, fireplaces, and the cracks in walls like great avian oil spills. See this latest work at Soho gallery Pertwee Anderson & Gold through March 24. Don’t Panic has a great interview.
Oslo resident and designer Veronica Falsen Hiis settled down in a cozy snow drift to sculpt this great collection of icy type. The clarity of the letterforms is truly impressive despite the frozen medium. See also her type made from the edges of books. (via fastco)
The Tree Chunk is a solid maple toothpick dispenser designed and built by David Tsai. It holds up to 80 round toothpicks and dispenses one at a time in a myriad of ways. (via notcot)
Assorted lighting from Anzfer Farms near San Francisco. All kinds of really neat stuff on their blog.
One of my earliest memories in life is driving through the Texas hill country with my father to a bee supply store. I was maybe six and we’d spent the better part of a month constructing two beehives from scratch, painting them, nailing together frames, and wiring the wax sheets into place. On the way home it was my job to hold a small wooden box we’d just purchased that contained a queen bee and a few drones. At the store the man behind the counter said the queen could lay thousands of eggs in a day, a number I could hardly comprehend. So the entire hive, thousands of bees, gallons of honey, was all to come from this one tiny bee the size of a jelly bean. How awesome.
The photos above are taken by two guys in Vancouver who are keeping bees in the yard behind their home where it sounds like they may have been evicted. Curious if it was because of the bees? Many more photos on Behance, and their blog.
Did the apocalypse ruin your crops this year? We’ve got you covered. Made in Japan by Dentsu the portable Chef’s Farm can harvest up to 60 heads of lettuce daily without a bit of sunlight. The idea is to provide locally-sourced vegetables to restaurants without the need for transportation. One thing remains unclear: how much water, electricity, and nutrients must be continually pumped into this $90,000 garden to produce such massive quantities of tasty tasty vegetation. Regardless, a pretty brilliant concept. (via treehugger)