3D printing is usually used to create visible objects. It’s very rare that we get to see people experimenting in the creation of nanoscale objects. The few experiments in the field thus far have been used in medical applications, but the future may in fact lie in manufacturing.
Aalto University researchers have found a way to shape 3D objects by creating bends with compressive stress induced by an ion beam. It’s utterly fascinating, and could lead to a future of simple nanoscale manufacturing.
So where does 3D printing fit into all of this? The above technology is all about the shaping of objects. It can’t be used to create the actual parts that power the devices. In the future, 3D printers will be able to create the necessary components needed to power these incredibly small devices.
Fabbaloo suggests that the technology can be used to create the invisible machines of the future. It seems like something out of science fiction, but nanotechnology is becoming more advanced all the time. It won’t be long until we have thousands of nanomachines floating around in our bloodstreams and regulating our health.
Until then, the rest of us can appreciate the artistry that’s inherent to science. For those who want to dig a bit deeper, the researchers have posted their findings on this wiki. It also includes the various publications that they’re work has been featured in. Anybody with even a passing interesting in nanoelectronics will want to check it out.[h/t: Kurzweil]