Vienna University sets fastest 3D-nanoprinting record

   Mar 14, 5:11 pm

London, March 14 (ANI): Researchers in Austria have set a new world speed record for the fastest 3D-printed nano-objects.

The team from the Vienna University of Technology has been able to create sculptures as small as a grain of sand in a fraction of the time than had previously been required.

To demonstrate the process the group created a model of a Formula 1 racing car 0.285mm (0.011in) in length in just over four minutes.

The scientists said the technique could be used to make small biomedical parts.

To produce the car about 100 layers, each consisting of 200 single printed lines, were created by Vienna University of Technology's equipment.

"The technology itself is quite well known in the science arena, but the problem was that it was always extremely slow," Prof Jurgen Stampfl of the University told the BBC.

"It was good as a showcase, but for real world applications it was much too time-consuming. Making complex large 3D structures would take hours or even days.

"Using our set-up and materials, we can speed that up by a factor of 500 or in some cases 1,000 times," he claimed.

The formal name for the process is "two-photon lithography". It involves focusing a laser beam onto liquid resin to harden it, leaving behind a line of solid polymer just a few nanometres wide.

Unlike traditional 3D-printing techniques, which build up an object by adding layers to its surface, the laser can create solid material anywhere within the liquid material.

The process gets its name because the resin only sets if the molecules within it absorb two photons of the laser beam at once - which only happens at the very centre of the beam.

The team's breakthrough involved improving the control mechanism for mirrors used to focus the laser, and developing the special type of resin involved in the process.

The researchers are now developing biocompatible resins so that the objects they create can be used by doctors.

One suggested application is to create scaffolds, which cells could use to build new biological tissues.

Prof Stampfl said his team's technique can work in water-based environments meaning it is also capable of creating scaffolds suitable for softer tissues such as cartilage and muscle tissue.

"We can also 'write' these structures in the presence of cells as we use an infrared laser which is completely harmless for biological tissue," he added.

"This is not possible with other 3D- printing techniques which first rely on making the scaffolds and then seed the cells, or use a thin inkjet nozzle to push through the cells which may damage them.

"The two-photon lithography technique lets us do the writing in the same space as the cells - what we call in-vivo writing," he added. (ANI)

New 'Superb' app helps you plan trips to 'hot places' Apr 17, 5:43 pm
Washington, Apr 17, (ANI): Superb is a new application from Grubwithus, which lets users tag places as 'hot or not' following which people can plan a visit to the place accordingly.
Full Story
European publishing giant accuses 'monopolistic' Google of building 'superstate' Apr 17, 5:43 pm
Washington, Apr 17, (ANI): Mathias Dopfner, head of Europe's largest newspaper publisher, has accused Google of abusing the monopoly in market, discriminating the other search engines.
Full Story
TCS, Twitter launch app to track Indian Elections Apr 17, 4:13 pm
Washington, Apr 17(ANI): India's Corporate Tata Consultancy Services has launched gamifies app, iElect on the Android platform that provides people an understanding about India's general elections in 2014.
Full Story
Soon, robots that are able to form 'swarms' without using any memory Apr 17, 2:44 pm
Washington, April 17 (ANI): Researchers have found a way to develop hundreds - or even thousands - of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY