RE: Solar in RP's future?

From: Blasch, Larry (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2000 - 19:34:56 EET

There are a number of materials that emit laser energy when stimulated with
optical wavelengths of light. A simple shutter system could be used to pulse
the focused sunlight and the coherent laser beam could then be focused and
directed more accurately than sunlight.
You could do this with any suitable light source so you don't have to quit
at night.
Lawrence R. Blasch
Design Engineer
CAE Systems Administrator
OPW Fueling Components
P.O. Box 405003
Cincinnati, OH 45240-5003 USA
Voice: (513) 870-3356
Fax: (513) 870-3338

* "Always remember you're unique,*
* just like everyone else." *

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Mallos []
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2000 7:44 AM
Subject: Solar in RP's future?

The light from an industrial laser ends up costing on the order of $10
per kilowatt-hour.

By comparison, the plain old thermal energy we now use to make products
costs a penny per kilowatt-hour. This thousand-to-one disadvantage in
energy costs makes it unlikely that lasers will directly form any but
the highest-value products.

Happily for us there is another source of intense optical radiation
which costs only 1 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour---the solar furnace.

While prototyping cannot wait for the sun to come out, delivery times of
a few days prove acceptable for most products. The flux a solar furnace
can generate is only about 10% that being used today in selective laser
sinterers. The consequences for selective solar sintering: slower part
production, and coarser resolution in any given material. Nonetheless, I
believe the range of potential products is vast.

Not much mirror area will be needed, as every square meter of direct
sunlight has the same radiant power as a 1 kw laser.

I am starting a "Making Things from Sunlight" web page at ." It is aimed mainly at students and
"homebrew" investigators interested in developing this new technology.
Right now the page it is just a slim list of links. Any pointers to
additional information would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Mallos
Heliakon Solar Sintering Lab

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