Feeds

Speedy 3D printer creates 285µm Formula-1 speedster

Nanoscale engineering just got much faster

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Scientists at the Vienna Institute of Technology have demonstrated a polymer and laser etching technique that promises to dramatically speed up the printing of tiny 3D objects.

The technique uses a fluid polymer developed at the university, which hardens when hit by a strong light source. A laser was used to create a series of models by directing the beam with a series of mirrors. Being able to direct the light quickly, combined with the fast-setting qualities of the polymer, enabled the team to set new speed records for this kind of nanoengineering.

"Until now, this technique used to be quite slow," said Professor Jürgen Stampfl from the Institute of Materials Science and Technology in a statement. "The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second – our device can do five meters in one second."

Nanoscale Indy car

Now all we need is a miniature Lewis Hamilton (click to enlarge)

The polymer needs to absorb two photons of the laser beam at once, which is only possible at the center of the beam, in order to kick off the chemical processes involved. Because the hardened surface doesn't need to be prepared before the next layer is added, this adds to the speed of printing.

"The resin contains molecules, which are activated by the laser light. They induce a chain reaction in other components of the resin, so-called monomers, and turn them into a solid," said team member Jan Torgersen.

Nanoscale Tower Bridge

In this wee Tower Bridge, the towers are a mere 90µm apart (click to enlarge)

The team is now looking at practical applications for the process. Because of the increased speed, much larger objects (relatively speaking) can be built, and the team envisages using it to build individual tools and parts for nanoengineering, or printing minute frameworks of scaffolding around which biological cells can form around medical purposes. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.