3D printing on glass by laser
If you haven’t noticed, diode laser engravers/cutters have become more powerful lately. [Cranktown City] was playing with a 20 watt Atomstack laser and wondering if it would sinter sand into glass. His early experiments weren’t too promising, but with a little work he was able to make a raw form of glass with the laser as the power source. However, using glass beads was more efficient, so he decided to build his own glass 3D printer using laser.
It’s not for the faint of heart. Surfaces should be flat and there is aluminum casting and plasma cutting, although some of these may not have been necessary for the final build. The idea was to make a system that would leave a layer of sand and then deposit a new layer on command. It turned out to be surprisingly difficult.
We were impressed with the many ideas he tried to make the platform perfect. The ultimate solution was extremely simple, but that’s how it usually works, isn’t it? You try all sorts of complex things until you come across something simple.
We always appreciate projects where you can see the stages of success, including failed attempts. The machine definitely looks like Rube Goldberg. But how does it work? Well, he finally got a recognizable bench, but not right away. Perfect? No, but we remember when the first 3D printers only did a little better.
We are impressed. It took a wide range of skills to achieve this and we hope he will continue to refine the work and perhaps others will as well. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this trick, but previous attempts haven’t been as robust. We even saw a 2D version in 2016.