Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

3-D Printer with Nano-Precision

Date:
March 12, 2012
Source:
Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna
Summary:
Printing three-dimensional objects with incredibly fine details is now possible using “two-photon lithography”. With this technology, tiny structures on a nanometer scale can be fabricated. Researchers have now made a major breakthrough in speeding up this printing technique.

285 micrometer racecar, printed at the Vienna University of Technology.
Credit: Image courtesy of Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna

Printing three-dimensional objects with incredibly fine details is now possible using "two-photon lithography." With this technology, tiny structures on a nanometer scale can be fabricated. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have now made a major breakthrough in speeding up this printing technique: The high-precision-3D-printer at TU Vienna is orders of magnitude faster than similar devices. This opens up completely new areas of application, such as in medicine.

Setting a New World Record

The 3D printer uses a liquid resin, which is hardened at precisely the correct spots by a focused laser beam. The focal point of the laser beam is guided through the resin by movable mirrors and leaves behind a hardened line of solid polymer, just a few hundred nanometers wide. This fine resolution enables the creation of intricately structured sculptures as tiny as a grain of sand. "Until now, this technique used to be quite slow," says Professor Jόrgen Stampfl from the Institute of Materials Science and Technology at the TU Vienna. "The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second -- our device can do five meters in one second." In two-photon lithography, this is a world record.

This amazing progress was made possible by combining several new ideas. "It was crucial to improve the steering mechanism of the mirrors," says Jan Torgersen (TU Vienna). The mirrors are continuously in motion during the printing process. The acceleration and deceleration-periods have to be tuned very precisely to achieve high-resolution results at a record-breaking speed.

Photoactive Molecules Harden the Resin

3D-printing is not all about mechanics -- chemists had a crucial role to play in this project too. "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," says Jan Torgersen. These initiator molecules are only activated if they absorb two photons of the laser beam at once -- and this only happens in the very center of the laser beam, where the intensity is highest. In contrast to conventional 3D-printing techniques, solid material can be created anywhere within the liquid resin rather than on top of the previously created layer only. Therefore, the working surface does not have to be specially prepared before the next layer can be produced, which saves a lot of time. A team of chemists led by Professor Robert Liska (TU Vienna) developed the suitable ingredients for this special resin.

Researchers all over the world are working on 3D printers today -- at universities as well as in industry. Because of the dramatically increased speed, much larger objects can now be created in a given period of time. This makes two-photon-lithography an interesting technique for industry.

At the TU Vienna, scientists are now developing bio-compatible resins for medical applications. They can be used to create scaffolds to which living cells can attach themselves facilitating the systematic creation of biological tissues. The 3d printer could also be used to create tailor made construction parts for biomedical technology or nanotechnology.

Video: http://amt.tuwien.ac.at/fileadmin/t/amt/research/High_Speed_2PP.mpg


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. "3-D Printer with Nano-Precision." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312101918.htm>.
Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. (2012, March 12). 3-D Printer with Nano-Precision. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312101918.htm
Vienna University of Technology, TU Vienna. "3-D Printer with Nano-Precision." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312101918.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins