Microscale printing of a spaceship on world’s fastest 3D printer #3dthursday

Check out this incredibly fast, micro scale 3D printer, via 3ders.org:

The video [above] shows a real-time recording of the 3D micro printing process by two-photon polymerization. Overall printing time was less than 50 seconds for the ship with dimensions 125µm x 81µm x 26.8µm (l x w x h). The craft is about the length of thickness of a human hair.

The craft is printed on a new generation of Nanoscribe´s 3D laser lithography systems, Photonic Professional GT. This 3D printer is able to make complex shaped polymer structures with finest feature sizes in the sub-micrometer range. The technique of 3D laser lithography, or direct laser writing as it is named, is based on multi-photon polymerization, a non-linear optical effect. An ultra-short pulsed laser activates the photoresist and causes a chemical and / or physical change of the photoresist within a small volume pixel (“voxel”) that can be scaled by the laser power. This voxel typically is of ellipsoidal shape and is the basic building block for the fabrication of 3D structures. By moving the sample relative to the fixed focal position, arbitrary paths can be written into the material. This process is just like using a nanometer-sized pen to draw in three dimensions.

Researchers start with the CAD model of the ship, based a Hellcat spaceship from Wing Commander Saga and then use Photonic Professional GT 3D printer to print a polymer model on the microscale. Driven by an embedded ultra-high precision galvo technology, the writing process can be done in shortest time. The whole system is fully automated. Structures can either be designed in 3D printer compatible CAD software programs or directly implemented in Nanoscribe´s GWL scripting language.

Key features:

  • ultra-precise fabrication with feature sizes ranging down to 100 nm
  • Fast and accurate by galvo and piezo technology
  • Writing area up to the centimeter range
  • Easy fabrication of 3D micro- and nanostructures
  • Easy CAD import via DXF, STL file format

This system can be used in the research areas such as photonics, micro optics, life sciences, microfluidics, nano- and microtechnology.

Read more.


Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

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