Microlight3D, a French specialist in microscopic 3D printing, created the smallest Millenium Falcon spaceship in the galaxy, as a celebration of the Star Wars brand. The 3D printed version is 400,000 times smaller than the original spacecraft In honor of the Jedi Masters, the Microlight3D team used green rather than red lasers to produce the 3D microvessel.
This micro-spaceship – along with a micro-baby-Yoda and a micro X-wing – were 3D printed on Microlight3D’s µFAB-3D- Advanced system to celebrate the release of “The Mandalorian – season 2”, and to launch a campaign entitled “Jedi Masters use green lasers”. The Millenium Falcon is exactly 100 micron long, 70.8 micron wide, and 23.4 micron tall. It was 3D printed at the incredible resolution of 200 nanometers (0.2 micron).
The build took 50-minutes for print time, and 10 minutes for the solvent bath to develop. No pre-bake or post-bake, nor any other post-treatment was required (as no support material was used). This result was obtained on the first attempt.
Jedi masters wield green lightsabers, and Microlight3D 3D printers use green lasers, unlike others who use red lasers (like Darth Vader and all the Siths). The company made it a point to buck the notion that microscopic 3D printing is only possible with red lasers.
In order to achieve this, Microlight 3D developed a new material, during the past 6 months, called “Green-A”. It is a polymer specially adapted to the green wavelength, with ultra-high resolution and high rigidity. Green wavelength (at 532 nm) gives a higher resolution than red wavelength (800 nm), as the resolution is directly proportional to the wavelength.
To prove the point that it is possible to obtain extremely precise and complex micro-parts with its technology, by zooming in the cockpit, it is even possible to distinguish the seats on which Han Solo and Chewbacca would sit in the popular movies.
To fit into this Millennium Falcon, Han Solo would have to be just 5 microns high … the size of a bacterium!
This is not just a fun experiment. In order to obtain the photo of the micro 3D printed Millennium Falcon under the electron microscope, the Microlight3D team had to fix the vessel on a glass substrate. However, the micro-ship could just as well have been we attached to magnetic micro-balls, and made the spaceship fly by controlling it remotely using a magnetic field.
Thanks to this technique, researchers from the Néel Institute and the Université Grenoble Alpes have produced remotely controllable micro-grippers, capable of gripping and moving particles the size of a human cell.
This work, recently published in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies, earned Dr. Victor Vieille the 2020 Innovation Thesis Prize from the Université Grenoble Alpes.