The system, based on Nanoscribe’s maskless lithography technology, integrates optimized hardware and software components that enable the production of larger volume, high-resolution microstructures. The company announced that the new system is capable of producing microstructures of up to 8mm in height for the very first time.
The successor model Photonic Professional GT2 is capable of rapidly producing tiny parts, ranging between 160 nanometers to the millimeter range on a print area of up to 100 x 100 mm. Nanoscribe has also introduced a new material, IP-Q, developed especially for larger volume structures.
“The extension of the maximum print volumes toward the macroscale was a great wish of our customers and project partners from industry,” said Nanoscribe CEO Martin Hermatschweiler. “With this relaunch of our extremely successful generation of Photonic Professional devices, we have now succeeded in overcoming previous physical limitations and increasing the performance of the devices by a factor of up to 10 in terms of productivity and speed.”
Users of the successor model can choose from a variety of print objectives, substrates, materials and automated processes to achieve the best quality for a given structure. The upgraded system integrates a user-friendly workflow and enables the production of highly accurate parts with smooth surface finishes.
In terms of applications, Nanoscribe’s system is suitable for printing microlenses (such as those used in the smartphone industry) or filigree scaffolds for cell biology. Users can also leverage the technology to produce precise masters for molding processes. Notably, the Photonic Professional GT2 can produce elements for microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip systems more rapidly than traditional methods, largely by speeding up the product development stage.
The ability to print on various substrates also opens up applications in the field of sensor and actuator technology, as components can be printed directly on MEMS parts or silicon chips. Finally, the new system can be put to use in the medical sector to print micro-optics on glass fibers for endoscopes or to manufacture microneedles for drug deliver.
Along with the new hardware, Nanoscribe has also updated its proprietary software programs DeScribe and NanoWrite. Enhancements to the software enable smarter print strategies resulting in up to 10 times faster print speeds; more design freedom for higher complexity structures such as gas-dynamic micronozzles; replicable topographies ideal for polymer printing masters for molding. The software also integrates galvanic processes, which allow for polymer masters to be metallized for mass production.