Sand3DprintingSelf-driving cars, fleets of drones, robotic body parts – the world is getting pretty crazy these days. The future is definitely here.

Markus Kayser, a German boffin working out in the Sahara Desert, has combined two futuristic tools – solar power and 3D printing – and created a piece of technology that’s capable of harnessing the sun’s energy and using it to make things out of sand. Like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, the set up uses a lens to focus the sun into a laser-like beam, which passes through the solar-powered 3D printer.

Using this gear, Kayser has used the power of the sun to turn sand into glass objects such as bowls and sculptures. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s possible that one day this technology will be used to make goods in deserts and other tough places that can’t support other forms of production.

3D printing is going to make manufacturing possible for everyone, which was demonstrated by a group of students at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, who printed their very own solar-powered cars. That means one day you’re going to be able to print yourself a bottle opener, a spare screwdriver or maybe even a ball that the Saints will be able to hold onto.

Now, your everyday sparky is probably not going to be working on stuff like this any time soon, but it’s interesting nonetheless to keep an eye on where things might be going. For all your solar needs, today and in the future, be sure to check out L&H’s great range of electrical goods.

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