We are all familiar with FDM 3D printing, and some of us may take a thrilling step into the world of good heels or even adventurous SLA printers. But for most of us there is one more step in 3D printing that is beyond our reach. SLS, or selective laser centering, uses lasers to make prints from powder by melting powdered layers, and has the advantage of opening up more useful materials than other methods of polymer stock. Although it is not completely inaccessible, e.g. [Kenneth Hawthorn] Shows us using laser cutters to create SLS prints from powdered glass.
He developed the technique of repeatedly passing fast with the help of laser so that more glass melts together as opposed to a slow pass. He achieved a lower resolution of 0.1 mm, although he found a better glass color when the laser focused less strongly. This raises concerns that glass powder is capable of abrasion and thus a threat to any process, thus he is being extremely careful with the fan settings.
It may not be entirely in the league of an SLS printer costing thousands of dollars, but it is a strategy that carries further investigation and can undoubtedly be refined to create more custom fused glass. He told us that he was inspired by a previous hackade post about sintering sand, and of course we want to remind readers of a 3D printer that did the same thing with solar energy.