A New Kind of Microscale 3D Printing

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For 15 years, Patrice Baldeck and Michel Bouriau led intense research and development at the Université Grenoble Alpes. They were working on a two-photon polymerization 3D printing process that would become the basis of Microlight3D, founded in 2016. The process would be the first-ever non-additive two-photon polymerization direct laser writing technology. Microlight3D’s technology allows a laser to move freely in three dimensions, performing uninterrupted printing inside a polymer resist.

The benefits of the technology are many. It produces extremely high resolution and smooth surface finish comparable to injection molding. It also offers a great deal of design flexibility and eliminates the need for post-processing. It’s a fast technology that produces robust parts in any shape – 100 times smaller than a strand of hair. These microscopic parts have a wide variety of applications, including in micro-optics, microfluidics, micro-robotics, metamaterials and cell biology.

Microlight3D is the only company to commercialize 3D microprinters that use sub-nanosecond lasers. Compared to femtosecond lasers, sub-nanosecond lasers have long, energetic pulses, which enable a more efficient polymerization process.

The process begins with a 3D model, like any other 3D printing process. Microlight3D algorithms calculate the path that the laser will follow in order to 3D print the object, and then the focused laser solidifies the specified locations, with sub-micron resolution, within a liquid material bath. The free movement of the laser allows the fabrication of the part without the layer-by-layer limitations of typical additive manufacturing. Once the print is complete, a solvent bath washes off the excess monomer.

Microlight3D’s open 3D microfabrication platform, μFAB-3D, is geared toward research applications such as surface structuration, metamaterials, microfluidics and scaffolds for cell culture. It’s compatible with a wide range of materials, including biomaterials. It features a proprietary, intuitive software with customer-specific plug-ins, and can print objects up to 100 x 75 mm squared, on flat or non-flat substrates.

More: https://3dprint.com/227693/microlight3d-offers-microscale-3d-printing/?fbclid=IwAR2VPziQVmFfcdSEfru7ZDDq3k8ekgvMRdpCObM3PpX2Km4ykm8fFCRC9YY

 

FiveWordsForTheFuture - Oct 28, 2018 | 3D printing, Light, nanotechnologies
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