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Impressive SEM video shows accuracy and design freedom of nano 3D printing

Nanoscribe 3D printers open up versatile opportunities in 3D microfabrication

Additive processes of all types and sizes continue to evolve the world of manufacturing. Advantages like freedom in design and shortened product development cycles enable individualization and innovations of products continuously. While technologies such as powder bed fusion or material jetting are already establishing themselves as industrial production processes, additive manufacturing of nano- and microstructures – 3D microfabrication – is now opening prototyping, tooling and small series production on an entirely new scale.

Nanoscribe is the leading company supplying high-resolution nano 3D printers and solutions for advanced 3D Microfabrication. The company’s Photonic Professional GT2 systems are powerful tools for the fabrication of 3D microparts with submicron features.

3D microfabrication

In the impressive fly-over video above, a sequence of scanning electron microscope (SEM) images showcases extremely filigree structures fabricated with a Nanoscribe system. From different angles, diverse geometries illustrate the remarkable versatility of high-resolution 3D printing. The arrangement of 18 different objects and complex structures was quickly printed in little more than one hour. You can discover undercuts, porous, curved, upright, and smooth shapes – previous design limitations can now be overcome with this state-of-the-art microfabrication tool.

Customizable topographies with continuous and discrete modulation alternate with complex, filigree 3D micro lattices. The surface roughness lies in the range of a few nanometers. This underlines the optical quality of 3D printed structures as demanded in micro-optical applications. On the technological basis of Two-Photon Polymerization (2PP), simple, complex and even organic forms can thus be produced with print volumes of up to 100 cubic millimeters using automated 3D printing processes.

3D microfabrication solution sets

Finding the right combination of hardware, software, and materials to start a 3D printing task can be time-costly and challenging. To streamline the printing processes, Nanoscribe develops and provides ready-to-use Microfabrication Solution Sets for their Photonic Professional GT2 3D printers. These sets are based on the most suitable combination of precision optics, a broad range of materials and sophisticated software recipes for specific applications and scales.

The field-proven sets are process-centered solutions developed to improve printing performance in different qualities. A straightforward 3D printing workflow paves the way from CAD model import to the final micro part. The tailor-made software solutions enable the preparation and execution of print jobs in just a few minutes. Depending on the required application, the recipe offers a set of optimized printing parameters such as layer spacing or print speed. Once the printing parameters are set, a preview of the design is available in 3D, users can even simulate the printing process in 3D. For real-time monitoring, an integrated live-view camera later shows the progress of the printing process. All these visualization tools facilitate the workflow significantly. Thus, 3D Microfabrication can drastically shorten design iteration cycles in a variety of applications and on a previously inaccessible scale.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as both a technology journalist and communications consultant. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he received his undergraduate degree. Specializing in covering the AM industry, he founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial and market analysys&consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, as well as several editorial websites, including 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. Since 2016 he is also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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