Although the film is beautiful and some have viewed it an artistic performance, Kayser sees his machine as the beginning of a productive tool for creating objects.
"In August 2010 I took my first solar machine - the Sun-Cutter - to the Egyptian desert in a suitcase. This was a solar-powered, semi-automated low-tech laser cutter, that used the power of the sun to drive it and directly harnessed its rays through a glass ball lens to ‘laser’ cut 2D components using a cam-guided system. The Sun-Cutter produced components in thin plywood with an aesthetic quality that was a curious hybrid of machine-made and “nature craft” due to the crudeness of its mechanism and cutting beam optics, alongside variations in solar intensity due to weather fluctuations.
In the deserts of the world two elements dominate - sun and sand. The former offers a vast energy source of huge potential, the latter an almost unlimited supply of silica in the form of quartz. The experience of working in the desert with the Sun-Cutter led me directly to the idea of a new machine that could bring together these two elements. Silicia sand when heated to melting point and allowed to cool solidifies as glass. 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). These 3D printers use laser technology to create very precise 3D objects from a variety of powdered plastics, resins and metals - the objects being the exact physical counterparts of the computer-drawn 3D designs inputted by the designer. 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.
My first manually-operated solar-sintering machine was tested in February 2011 in the Moroccan desert with encouraging results that led to the development of the current larger and fully-automated computer driven version - the Solar-Sinter. The Solar-Sinter was completed in mid-May and later that month I took this experimental machine to the Sahara desert near Siwa, Egypt, for a two week testing period. The machine and the results of these first experiments presented here represent the initial significant steps towards what I envisage as a new solar-powered production tool of great potential. "
SOLAR SINTER (2MIN EDIT) from Markus Kayser on Vimeo.
From Kayser's website:
"Markus Kayser was born near Hannover, Germany in 1983. He studied 3D Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University from 2004 - 2008 and continued 2009 with the study of Product Design at the Royal College of Art and gained his Master in 2011. Markus Kayser Studio was set up in London, UK in 2011.(SASL Finder: Chris)
From early works of furniture and lights in his father’s farm workshop through to today Markus Kayser developed an understanding of materials, processes and technologies which he sees as being key in combination with the natural given. He wants to engage by producing objects that one can relate to, that speak about something else other than just their utilitarian qualities. The layers to be discovered as well as one’s associations with objects interest him.
Experimentation plays a central part in developing his designs. Kayser’s recent work demonstrates the exploration of hybrid solutions linking technology and natural energy to show the great opportunities, to question current methodologies in manufacturing and to test new scenarios of production.
In his process it is important that behind the thorough research and the theory there must be a realistic proof of concept, which elucidates the real potential of a given subject. He tries to tell a story and to balance the seriousness with a sense of humour. This kind of storytelling makes his products as well as his experimental works digestible without losing its depths in content.
The aim of the newly formed Markus Kayser Studio is to engage in discussion about opportunities in the production of design involving new as well as forgotten processes and technologies. The studio draws from science, art and engineering and aims to blur gaps between seemingly separate fields. "