Nov 30, 2015 | By Kira

Though we now know that 85% of the 3D printers shipped globally fall into the personal/desktop 3D printing category, the majority of groundbreaking 3D printing advancements come not from our garages, but from leading research universities, where the top minds in science and engineering have exclusive access to cutting-edge laboratories. It makes sense then, that when equipping these labs, universities would select specialized, high-end 3D printing machines, tailored to their exacting requirements and demanding scientific applications.

Nanoscribe GmbH, market leader in 3D printing on the nano-, micro-, and mesoscale, has thus established itself as a ‘new standard’ at top universities, given that five out of the ten top universities in the world (as established by QS) currently own and use Nanoscribe 3D printers. These universities include Harvard University, The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the University of Oxford, the Imperial College of London, and ETH Zurich, which owns two Nanoscribe 3D printing systems, and succeeded in making the top 10 list for the first time this year.

A team of Harvard researchers using the Nanoscribe Photonic Professional GT system

Nanoscribe is known for enabling the 3D printing of objects measuring from 150 nanometers up to the millimeter range. Their 3D printing microfabrication technology is based on ‘direct laser writing’, a non-linear two-photon absorption process in which a controlled laser solidifies a liquid, photo-sensitive material.

This absolutely microscopic 3D printing scale opens doors to many specialized 3D printing applications, including medical technology (think micro-eye surgeries or 3D bioprinting), micro optics and photonics, information and communication technologies, micro mechanics, and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). To further show-off their 3D printers capabilities, Nanoscribe even 3D printed a microscopic replica of the Great Wall of China, which was presented to Chinese president Xi Jinping. The section of the Wall measured just over 100 micrometers long, the same width of a typical human hair.

Nanoscribe's microscopic replica of a section of the The Great Wall of China

“Our systems work based on two-photon polymerization. This unique technology was only known in a specific research niche until we entered the market,” said CEO Martin Hermatschweiler. “With the development of our Photonic Professional GT systems, which are today the fastest systems on the market, we could establish a new standard at universities and research institutes. In addition to the tremendous speed, they work with a precision a hundred times higher than for example stereolithography.”

According to the company, there are already more than 100 Nanoscribe 3D printing systems in use at renowned research institutes in over 25 countries, including the five prestigious universities listed above. Moreover, the Karslruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where Nanoscribe was initially founded in 2007, is itself a Nanoscribe customer, and is amongst the top 100 universities worldwide.

While Nanoscribe’s is just one among many leading technologies to be used in research universities and institutes worldwisde, this news reinforces the fact that 3D printing technology is becoming an invaluable asset for top scientists and engineers, and that unique, technologically advanced 3D printers are already considered indispensable tools in their labs.

The top ten universities in the world were ranked by the 12th edition of QS’s annual World University Rankings report, which uses six performance indicators to assess institutions reputation, research impact, staffing levels, and international complexion.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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