Mar. 1, 2015

With a new extension set for its 3D printer, German company Nanoscribe GmbH is the first manufacturer to provide a complete solution for microfabrication.

Nanoscribe's technology for the fabrication of three-dimensional micro- and nanostructures in photo-sensitive materials is based on "direct laser writing", i.e., a non-linear two-photon absorption process. An ultra-short pulsed laser activates the photoresist and causes a chemical and / or physical change of the photoresist within a small volume pixel ("voxel") that can be scaled by the laser power. This voxel typically is of ellipsoidal shape and is the basic building block for the fabrication of 3D structures. By moving the sample relative to the fixed focal position, arbitrary paths can be written into the material. This process is just like using a nanometer-sized pen to draw in three dimensions.

This non-linear lithography technology has opened up new and expanded applications for digital production. Unlike stereolithography 3D printing process, Nanoscribe's Photonic Professional GT 3D printer makes the free definition of layer distances and manufacture of structural details in the sub-micrometre range. This makes it possible to print surfaces even in optical quality.

According to the company's press release, Nanoscribe's technology "bridges the gap between 3D laser lithography and 3D printing". This means for the first time all the advantages of 3D printing are now also available for microfabrication.

The adoption of its tried-and-tested standards used in the macroscopic sphere have allowed the company to quickly assess structural data of objects needed for micro-fabrication. With Nanoscribe's technology it is now possible to manufacture the most complex structural design on a scale that was not accessible before.

The company was the first spin-off to emerge from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in 2007, and since then it has established itself as one of the leaders in the field of micro and nanometer scale, as well as photoresists and process solutions tailored to these specific application areas.

Last year, Nanoscribe launched the Photonic Professional GT system generation and earned a solid reputation after it had won the Prism Award in San Francisco, which can be defined as the "Oscar of Photonics" in the category of "Advanced Manufacturing".

The new 3D printing set for the millimetre scale endows the tiny 3 mm figure skater with a grace that literally permits her to dance on the crystal. This 3D printed figure skater is directly printed on a glass crystal. © Nanoscribe

As claimed by Nanoscribe CEO Martin Hermatschweiler:

"The set supplements our Photonic Professional GT 3D printer with high precision optics and the newly developed photoresist IP-S that has been optimized for it. This permits fast, ultra-precise exposure of the liquid printing material combined with maximum mechanical strength, accuracy and surface smoothness on all kinds of substrates. These properties are reflected in the brilliance of the filigree figure skater on the crystal."

Nanoscribe's proprietary software package NanoWrite and DeScribe underwent extensive overhauls to meet the high demands on data processing and finishing of high resolution 3D models. Intelligent algorithms were implemented that have enormous speed advantages compared to the previous versions.

The new set will be released in April 2015.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology


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Sarah Boisvert wrote at 3/1/2015 7:33:20 PM:

And what is the cost of this machine?

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