Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
On February 13th 2020, a group of researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) of Lausanne, Switzerland announced that they had developed a new, high-precision method for 3D printing small, soft objects. EPFL proclaimed that the process had potential in a wide range of fields, including 3D bioprinting; making soft objects like biological tissue, organs, hearing aids and mouthguards; or even interior design. Their work was published in the journal Nature Communications.
To 3D print an object this way, a volume of light-sensitive resin is illuminated with a series of laser patterns that project the object at different rotational perspectives, which is synchronised to the volume of resin being rotated. This takes inspiration from the principle of tomography, a method mainly used in medical imaging to build a model of an object based on scans of its surface. In addition to the team’s method being able to print the object within 30 seconds, it is suspended within the volume of resin, ergo there is no need for additional support structures.
The system is currently capable of making structures measuring up to 2cm with a precision of 0.08mm, although the team hopes to develop their system to build objects of up to 15cm. They have also established a spin-off company to develop and market the system called Readily3D. Self-proclaimed “isn’t your average tech site” Gizmodo UK argued that the technology constituted a further step towards 3D printers becoming increasingly like replicators from the Star Trek franchise, although these were mainly used to synthesise food and drink on demand.
3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.
Disclaimer: Featured image of “Lasertests” is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, it is in the public domain in the United States.