Nov.15, 2014

Artist Jonty Hurwitz has created so far the most detailed nano-sculptures with 3D printing and a technique called "Multi-Photon Lithography". Similar to standard photolithography techniques, multiphoton lithography is a technique for creating small features in a photosensitive material.

Trust, this sculpture as of October 2014 is the smallest creation of the human form in history at approx. 80 x 100 x 20 microns.

On his website Hurwitz describes the process:

Ultimately these works are created using the physical phenomenon of two photon absorption. Art, literally created with Quantum Physics.


If you illuminate a light-sensitive polymer with Ultra Violet wavelengths, it solidifies wherever it was irradiated in a kind of crude lump. Some of you may have experienced a polymer like this first hand at the dentist when your filling is glued in with a UV light.


If however you use longer wavelength intense light, and focus it tightly through a microscope, something wonderful happens: at the focus point, the polymer absorbs TWO PHOTONS and responds as if it had been illuminated by UV light, namely it will solidify. This two photon absorption occurs only at the tiny focal point – basically a tiny 3D pixel (called a Voxel). The sculpture is then moved along fractionally by a computer controlled process and the next pixel is created. Slowly, over hours and hours the entire sculpture is assembled pixel by pixel and layer by layer.

The making of...

How small is "nano?" In the International System of Units, the prefix "nano" means one-billionth, or 10-9; therefore one nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. So a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers (100 microns) thick. And these sculptures approximately equals the amount your fingernails grow every 5 or 6 hours, explains Hurwitz.

Therefore the human eye is unable to see these sculptures, and the only way to perceive these works is on the screen of powerful scanning electron microscope.

In collaboration with The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Weitzmann Institute of Science, a team of over 10 people have been working on creating these sculptures for several months.

"As technology starts to evolve faster than our human perception is able to handle, the line between science and myth becomes blurred.


We live in an era where the impossible has finally come to pass. We have, in our own little way we have become demigods of creation in our physical world…. The nano works that I present to you here represent more that just a feat of science though. They represent the moment in history that we ourselves are able to create a full human form at the same scale as the sperm that creates us in order to facilitate the creation."


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Max Hernandez wrote at 8/12/2016 1:44:09 AM:

One of the most impresionant work I seen in imaging a body

janderson wrote at 4/28/2016 11:57:45 AM:


Richard Kirk wrote at 4/22/2015 2:22:37 PM:

I really think you ought to get in touch with these people... If it gets a factor of 10 smaller, a model^7 village ought to be possible with the current technology.

mike wrote at 11/16/2014 4:10:29 PM:

yeah.. i agree.. the naked female is ugly. give me some naked men!

Colby Parsons wrote at 11/16/2014 4:40:22 AM:

Is no one questioning why a naked female body is the first representation to be made at this scale? How ironic to go so far with technology, while remaining so constrained in understanding.

anonymous wrote at 11/16/2014 4:03:19 AM:

The images with the human hair, ant head, and needle are all photoshopped. Still impressive printing method though.

manko wrote at 11/15/2014 10:53:26 PM:

Like what size is a human sperm? Strange comparison. On Woody Allen would know I suppose.

amazed and thankful wrote at 11/15/2014 10:35:54 PM:

The blurring on the model is borderline offensive in an article about art. That aside, how amazing to see sculpture at these scales! Does it make you wonder if we would even recognize an alien artifact if it were right before our eyes, so to speak? Even on our own planet, in one place there's someone who lives in a hut, can't read or write, etc. and only a short distance away someone makes sculptures tinier than a hair or studies the collisions of protons in a giant, airless tube. The one can hardly understand the other. Maybe the Fermi paradox is as simple as this.

visitor wrote at 11/15/2014 8:13:21 PM:

The Wonga project was far more impressive.

alvaro wrote at 11/15/2014 7:28:55 PM:

Amazing! there is no limits to 3D printers because there is no limit to imagination.

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