Microlight3D, a specialty manufacturer of high-resolution, micro-scale 2D and 3D printing systems for industrial and scientific applications, has launched eight new resins, with diverse properties, for mechanical meta-materials and life sciences applications. The range of resins is flexible, rigid, and biocompatible, and creates opportunities for developers to explore 3D microprinting using different materials. The range also offers the ability to reproduce minuscule objects, 100x smaller than a strand of hair, in complex designs.
Microlight3D developed the eight resins, in addition to its two already-marketed resins, for use with its microFAB-3D – an ultra-high-resolution, two-photon polymerization, printing system. The direct laser writing technology is used to create a solid 3D printed structure from photoactivatable materials.
“We are pleased to offer an extended range of resins that will enable our users, who have an amazing appetite to try new things, to fully exploit our 3D microprinting systems,” said Philippe Paliard, head of the 3D printing laboratory at Microlight3D. “As many conventional 3D printing resins do not automatically work with two-photon polymerization methods, our latest selection of new resins fills this gap.”
The resins for microFAB-3D are easily used and removed – taking only a single drop on a substrate (glass coverslip) to run a micron-sized print job, and a 10-minute solvent bath to remove the unused resin. In order to use another material, for a new project, the user is simply required to put a drop of the different resin onto another glass coverslip. Alternatively, the user can use the previously rinsed coverslip to create a multi-material structure – which is made possible thanks to the alignment feature in Microlight3D’s machine software.
Microlight3D offers two rigid resins: Rigid-A and Rigid-E, as well as a flexible resin called Flex-A for the mechanical meta-materials sector, including 4D printing and micro-mechanical applications, such as micro-grippers, screws, and micro-architectured materials – to obtain unique combinations of material properties.
Mechanical meta-materials researchers can also opt for OrmoRed, a resin activated using an infrared laser. MicroFAB-3D, therefore, has the unique ability to combine two lasers with different wavelengths, enabling researchers to use different materials within the same system – enhancing the OrmoRed resin with metallic, or magnetic, nanoparticles to create, for example, micro-robots.
Microlight3D developed OrmoBio and Green-A-Bio as biocompatible resins, whereas Green-Gel and UV-Gel were developed as biocompatible and ductile hydrogels. Green-Gel and UV-Gel enable ultra-high-resolution printing and have a rigidity that can be tailored according to users’ needs. This ability to modulate the rigidity of hydrogels plays an important role for researchers in cell culture, as cell interactions are influenced by the rigidity of the material surrounding them.
“In addition to the ten proprietary resins we are now offering, our system remains compatible with the commercially available polymer materials widely used in micro-optics. It is compatible with the UV resins used in microfluidics, cell culture, and micro-optics provided by market suppliers. The system works with several resins certified for the production of medical devices developed by a major 3D printing firm for producing highly complex, implantable microneedle or microstent arrays,” Paliard added.