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New Technology Makes 3D Printing 1000 Times Faster

The adoption of 3D printing is growing day by day despite its limitation mainly slow speed and limited material options. To address these limitations scientists have developed a new technology. Read More

Sunday October 8, 2023 10:19 PM, ummid.com Tech Desk

New Technology Makes 3D Printing 1000 Times Faster


Mumbai: The adoption of 3D printing is growing day by day despite its limitation mainly slow speed and limited material options.

3D printers creating nanoscale objects are mainly based on two different technologies - Focused-Electron Beam Induced Deposition (FEBID) and Two Photon Lithography (TPL), the latter being the most popular method for nanofabrication to integrate nanomaterials based on femtosecond laser-based methods.

OFB based free-space nanoprinting

However, challenges persist in existing three-dimensional (3D) nanoprinting methods, and to overcome these challenges Chenqi Yi and a team of scientists in Technology Sciences, Medicine, and Industrial Engineering at the Wuhan University China and the Purdue University U.S., showed a new 3D nanoprinting approach known as free-space nanoprinting by using an Optical Force Brush (OFB).

“OFB enables precise spatial writing paths, instantaneous adjustment of line-widths and concentrations, and unrestricted resolution beyond optical limits”, the scientists said as reported by Science Advances.

“OFB also allows rapid aggregation and solidification of radicals, resulting in narrower lines at lower polymerization thresholds and enhanced sensitivity to laser energy”, they said.

The new method makes 3D printing much faster and also improves its accuracy.

“This advancement enables high-accuracy free-space painting, analogous to Chinese brush painting on paper. The printing speed is increased substantially compared to layer-by-layer methods, from 100 to 1000 times faster”, the scientists said.

4D Printing

The new approach also helped the scientists in developing specific and spatial writing paths beyond optical limits to form 4D functional structures.

“We successfully printed various bionic muscle models derived from 4D nanostructures with tunable mechanical properties, responsive to electrical signals, and excellent biocompatibility”, they said.

The method allowed Yi and his team to print muscle, belly, and tendon tissues composed of multi-layered nesting of fibres and fibre bundles that are difficult to print via traditional 3D printing methods.

Also Read | NASA to deploy 3D printers to build homes on Moon

The team printed the muscle's internal and external shape, while activating its movement via electrical stimulation with a functional hydrogel-based ink. This resulted in the initial instance of simultaneously achieving both structural and functional bionic nanoprinting.


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