Laser 3D microprints Wing Commander spaceship the diameter of human hair

first_imgYou might notice you can’t browse a tech site lately without being inundated with 3D printing news, and if that has become a wrench in your general allotted web-browsing time, you should check out this print from German company Nanoscribe. The print is a model of a Hellcat spaceship from Wing Commander, and happens to be 125 micrometers long — about the width of a human hair.The ship, which ended up measuring in at 125 x 81 x 26.8 micrometers, was created with the Photonic Professional GT printer. It blasts photosensitive liquid polymer with brief laser pulses. The polymer responds to the lasers, which in turn allows the lasers to activate the polymer in a way where the polymer molds and hardens.The ship took just 50 seconds to print, which you can watch in the above video. You can even see the lasers pulsing throughout the process, activating the polymer. After the build was complete, the Nanoscribe team examined the model ship with a scanning electron microscope.Now, there isn’t exactly a use for a really tiny Wing Commander Hellcat, but the method with which the replica was printed is the real gem of the build. The new laser-printing method is said to provide an increase of printing speed by 100 times. At the moment, though, the current technology only allows a scanning field of “a few 100” micrometers or so — and this is at the highest resolution. However, by way of “stitching” fields together — presumably in a way similar to those massive photographs of the sky — the scanning field and be increased, and thus the size of the object can be increased as well.Regardless of the current size limitations — or even exactly what a tiny object can currently be used for — a tiny laser-printed anything from Wing Commander is pretty cool.last_img

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