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Monday, March 12, 2012

AWESOMENESS! Fast 3D printing with nanoscale precision


Printing three dimensional objects with very fine details using two-photon lithography can now be achieved orders of magnitude faster than similar devices in a breakthrough by Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) researchers.

The 3D printing process 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 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 Jürgen 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 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.

Faster printing for large objects too

“The resin contains molecules, activated by the laser light. They induce a chain reaction in other components of the resin, monomers, and turn them into a solid,” says 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. So the working surface does not have to be specially prepared before the next layer can be produced (see video), which saves a lot of time.

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 biocompatible 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.

Source: Fast 3D printing with nanoscale precision

In the video, a race car with dimensions of 330x130x100µm3 is fabricated. The structure consists of 100 layers, each made of an average of 200 polymer lines. It is finished in 4 minutes and resembles the CAD file at a precision of ±1µm.

High speed fabrication of race car

11 comments:

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  2. ...3D Bioprinting-Immortality (mom-printer)...on wake up, but...if I am, when I was 18 years old...and still so I remember all my Life in the ancient body before... On the body the important is the head, in the head the important is the brain, in the brain the important is...the Memory...which is, along with Genes and Image, simply, what we are. Your recorded Memory to the new, young, perfect, identical bioprinted body and...Immortality...already the accidents do not matter. The Memory is the "soul" (software), our body only is the "automobile" that transport us (hardware). (But...is that..."it" already would be not "Me", it would be a "cyborg/clone/avatar/frankenstein". Are you sure?, because to sleep, loses consciousness, "it" disappears every night (dies)...and wake up "it" appears every morning (rebirths)...and our MEMORY instantly auto-recognizes us, the same in our own original body which in our new body... If we would have lost the Memory...we would have lost the Life).

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  6. Meanwhile the World looks to elsewhere... Giant HORNETS...are threatening to all Humankind...it is necessary that the human beings, instead of destroy among them, destroy to those dangerous insects of huge exponential growing...seriously beginning already, at present.

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  7. ...3D Bioprinting-Immortality (biological timers)... Forever young with modified Biological Timers...which are the biological timers?, where are them? (genes, hypothalamus...), how functioning them?, how can modify them (telomerase...) for maintenance the hormones production, enzymes, cellular regeneration...all Eternity at same level of the 18 years old?... Have to accelerate Research about Memory and the Space´s Colonization... Immortality comes...

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  8. Nobel Prize physiology 2017 about circadian rhythms, but... Biological Timers...ordering stop growth at finish of adolescence...ordering start to grow-old at beginning of adulthood...

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  9. ...interstellar travel constant acceleration (immortals new body)... 3D Bioprinting...the technology used to print documents is also being utilized to create living tissue, in a not too distant future to "print", overlapping layer upon layer, whole organs such as a heart, a liver, a kidney, and one day a whole body. In the beginning the basic technique was exactly the same as using a normal inkjet printer, when printing a document (or image) inks of different colors are distributed on the paper in a specific pattern. It all started in this way: at Clemson University (years ago) have replaced printer inks for some "ink cells" alive. The ink cartridges were refilled with some cell solutions and software was rescheduled. The "paper" is a biodegradable gel, designed at the University of Washington, which solidifies to reach 32 ºC of temperature. Still need it much? for to be a reality with great performances. The main problem is that it is still unable to create an organ which circulates the blood, but it can print a tissue with thickness of a kidney in just 2 hours. The next step is to print the tiniest (capillaries) parts of an organ, just those that make it work (plasma with O2 and nutrients towards...↔▓↔...and CO2 which go into from...). If this is achieved would be very near the Eternity for human being.

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