1 of 3Image
Nanoscale 3D printed model of a racing car
Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology have come up with a way to drastically increase the speed of printing a nanoscale object in 3D.
On Monday, the scientists released a video demonstrating the high-speed manufacture of a nanoscale racing car using their technology.
"The high-precision 3D printer at TU Vienna is orders of magnitude faster than similar devices," the researchers said in a statement.
The TU Vienna technology allows printing in nanoscale 3D at a rate of five metres per second. The previous record was held by LZH (Laser Zentrum Hannover) with a speed of 50mm per second.
The 3D-printing process uses a proprietary liquid resin that is hardened to a polymer at precise co-ordinates using a focused laser beam. The focal point of the beam is guided by movable mirrors and is precise enough to create objects such as this 285µm racing car (pictured), which is smaller than a grain of sand.
Unlike other 3D printing, the finished product is not built up layer by layer. Instead, the different components of the object can be created anywhere in the liquid resin.
Image credit: TU Vienna
Nanoscale 3D printed model of St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
The resin that was hardened to create this model of St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, contains molecules that are activated by absorbing two photons from the laser. They start a chain reaction in monomers in the resin, turning them into a solid.
The resin, a liquid photopolymerisable formulation, was developed by professor Robert Liska of TU Vienna.
"Commercially available resins are not suitable for this precision and writing speed," TU Vienna researcher Jan Torgersen told ZDNet UK. "The reactivity and efficiency of the formulations is as important as precise and fast mechanics."
Image credit: Klaus Cicha/TU Vienna