Feeds

Speedy 3D printer creates 285µm Formula-1 speedster

Nanoscale engineering just got much faster

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.