Making complex, large 3D structures
would normally take hours or even days to perfect.
But researchers from the Vienna University of Technology
have speeded that up – considerably – and produced grain-of-sand sized objects
such as bridges, cathedrals and Formula 1 cars.
It is thought that the world record for producing the nano-objects in the quickest time has been smashed.
Great work: The attention detail for such a speeded-up process is incredible, with the making of the roofing clear
The attention to detail is exquisite – and the craftsmanship is even more impressive
when you appreciate the scale of the endeavour.
In the design of London’s Tower Bridge, for example, you can make out details in the roof-work of the tower,
as well as the railings on the actual bridge.
The little Formula 1 car is just 0.028cm across – or to put it another way,
less than a third of a millimetre.
So this tiny little motor could fit into the space of the full-stop at the end of the sentence.
If that isn’t impressive enough, the Vienna Institute of Technology
created the 100-layer nano-structure in just four minutes – a huge increase on previous technology.
Tiny detail: The F1 nano-car was created by the Vienna Institute of Technology in a record-breaking four minutes
The precision model uses a technique called two-photon lithography,
which uses highly-focused light beams to manipulate then harden the resin molecules
in exactly the right position.
The ‘two-photon’ part of the name refers to how the resin only hardens
when two photon molecules hit it at the same time.
3D printing its still in its infancy, although commercial and even domestic printers
are now hitting the market.
Having a rest: This weary-looking fellow has been designed withing a minute area – which may be even more surprising to some!
The technology opens up the exciting world of nano-technology to both industry and the public,
with many applications in science and medicine.
For instance, in the future, you may be able to print out small items
for your life – almost anything from cups to trainers.
The medical applications are also significant.
The technology has been trialled in dental work and bone reconstruction,
with one lady having her jaw reconstructed via 3D printing following a bone infection.
Hiding place: But you would have to be very small to get in here – almost invisible
But the usual method usually requires a model to be built up layer-by-layer,
whereas the two-photon method can operate across the model at once.
Professor Jürgen Stampfl from the Institute of Materials Science and Technology at the TU Vienna said:
‘Until now, this technique used to be quite slow.
The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second
our device can do five meters in one second.’
- Watch The Fastest 3D Printer In The World Create The Tiniest 3D F1 Car (gizmodo.com.au)
- Video: 3-D printer with nano precision (worldwright.wordpress.com)