3D printer hobbyists are often impressed with machines that are able to print large objects. What's even more amazing, however, is when a 3D printer is able to create micro and nano-scale objects.
Nanoscribe, a newly founded Germany 3D printing company, has recently shown what its latest 3D printer - the Photonic Professional GT - can do. The machine was able to create a microscale model of a spaceship in less than 50 seconds. Here's how they did it:
This video shows a realtime recording of the 3D micro printing process by two-photon polymerization. We start with the CAD model of a Hellcat spaceship from Wing Commander Saga and use our 3D printer Photonic Professional GT to print a polymer model on the microscale. The final structure is then inspected with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Overall printing time was less than 50 seconds for the ship with dimensions 125µm x 81µm x 26.8µm (l x w x h). The length of the spaceship is approximately equal to the diameter of a human hair.
The most amazing part about this new technology is that it's not a prototype. This printer is for sale, and is being marketed to biotechnology firms. Other biotech firms and schools that are working with 3D printing have had to build their own machines. If the price is right, Nanoscribe could be seeing a lot of business coming its way from schools and biotech firms wanting to take advantage of 3D printing.[h/t: SingularityHub]