3D Micro and Nano Structure Printing (<1mm in Size)

by Matthew Wellington on March 27, 2013

3D Printing of Micro and Nano Scale ObjectsIf you thought that 3D printing technology couldn’t get any better after the introduction of the New 3Doodler Pen, then the 3D micrometer scale printer created by Nanoscribe will literally blow your mind.

Its unparalleled speed and efficiency has presented many potential benefits that can result in a multitude of applications in various fields.

The Photonic Professional GT, as it has been named by Nanoscribe, can print intricately designed 3D objects of widths smaller than the diameter of a strand of human hair at great precision.

What’s more baffling is its exceptional ability to accurately fabricate tiny micro and nano structures with minute detail.

Being introduced to the world only a few months ago at the Photonics West International Fair, the Photonic Professional GT has already earned its way to become the fastest 3D printer in the world as far as printing micro and nano structures. So far there is no other printer that can fabricate objects at the nanometer size range with the speed, efficiency and accuracy of this 3D printer.

Exceptional Printing Features

Considering that there has been other micro and nano structure printers before that have failed to attracted the level of popularity that the Photonic Professional GT has, it pays to know what really makes this printer so special.

There are a number of outstanding features that have been included in the designing of the Photonic Professional GT that simply enables it to give users an ‘Out of this World’ experience. The fact that it is fast and accurate in printing complex tiny structures is one of the reasons why it is considered unmatched.

The trick behind the incredible speed that this printer operates at lies with the use of Galvo Technology and the Laser Lithography Technology. Laser Lithography technology has literally increased the speed of the printer to 100 times faster than what it normally would be printing objects at. Moreover by opting to use high performance circuits over the common electronics, the speed of the printer has been raised to 5 tera bits per second when printing polymer wave guides.

Additionally, the Photonic Professional GT makes it easy to fabricate tiny objects (micro and nano structures). For instance the printer allows for easy importing of CAD data through either STL or DXF file formats increasing its usability among different users.

On top of that, the printer is generally simple to use thus highly novice friendly. While you would obviously require some basic knowledge on how the printer works before using it, it is very easy to learn the basic ins and outs of the machine from a users perspective. Its user friendliness concurring with its compact natural form quickly makes it a suitable choice for anyone looking for a printer that can print micro and nano structures.

How It Works

The Photonic Professional GT uses the ‘Two-Photon Polymerisation’ technology to construct polymer micro structures. The operations of this printer are more like the technology that is often employed in the scanning of CDs and DVDs where a laser beam is used.

The printer has inbuilt Galvo mirrors which are purposely put in place to ensure the laser beam is precisely focused. When printing micro structures the laser beam is focused at a great precision which results in polymerization of the photosensitive materials that eventually form the 3D micro and nano structures the user intends to fabricate. The use of Galvo mirror system to focus the laser beam is what is referred to as the Galvo Technology.

Galvo technology implemented in the Photonic Professional GT is said to increase printing speed because it enhances the polymerization of photosensitive materials into micro structures by focusing the laser beam. This high focus leads to a high resolution, which allows the printer to print tiny 3D objects with ease. Consequently together with the Laser lithography technology equally implemented, the printer is able to print structures at an exceptionally high speed.

Similar to Other 3D Printers, the Photonic Professional GT will require Computer Aided Design data (CAD) in order to print desired structures. To fabricate objects you therefore need to use 3D Object Design Software. However the use of Nanoscribe’s GWL Scripting Language is also an alternative you might want to consider depending on what really works for you.

Scientific Applications and Benefits of the Printer

The fact that the Photonic Professional GT can print very tiny structures at impeccable accuracy has been a doorway to quite a number of Different 3D Printing Applications. Various fields can benefit from the use of this printer.

In the medical field for instance, the printer is believed to be of great help in advancing biotechnology, where several studies are being done on the possibility of creating Scaffolds that can be used for cell growth using this printer. Medical scientists are also optimistic that the printer could be used to fabricate tiny structures needed in the human body for patients with desperate needs.

The defence field is reportedly another field where the use of this printer can be helpful. Since it can perfectly create tiny 3D objects accurately (with all necessary details), the printer can be used to create weapons so small that can virtually go undetected.

Research is still under way to determine the various applications and potential benefits that the printer can bring. With it’s existence only announced recently, scientists are hopeful of further beneficial applications within the science field, in addition to others.

Conclusion

Before the introduction of the Photonic Professional GT, printing of micro and nano structures was incredibly slow, and therefore practically impossible to rely upon on an industrial level. But the advanced technologies used in this printer has now enabled fast and accurate 3D printing of micro structures that has made it possible to use the technology at such a level.

Essentially the Photonic Professional GT has immensely revolutionized 3D printing of micro and nano structures. Currently word has it that, with the vast experience of Nanoscribe in Photonics, many more applications of the printer are likely to appear in the near future.

Please feel free to leave a comment, or share this article on Twitter or Facebook.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: