The intricate shapes of the Sandhelden (“sand heroes”) sinks, bowls and vases seem almost incredible until you learn the secret. They are manufactured using 3D printing technology, and the material used to make them is both sustainable and plentiful – sand.
In addition to making its own line of products, the startup in Gersthofen, near Augsburg, also offers its process as a service, allowing designers and architects to turn their own ideas into reality. The company was attracted to sand as a material for several reasons, such as its ability to store heat well. However, it is also expanding its range of materials, such as by offering creations made from recycled plastic following a collaboration with the Augsburg-based Fraunhofer Research Institution for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology (IGCV).
Asked why the company chose to base itself in the southern German town, cofounder Laurens Faure said: “Bavaria is one of the centers of excellence when it comes to additive manufacturing (3D printing). In addition, there are a variety of funding programs and supporting organizations, which are very appealing, especially for young companies.”