French ultra high resolution 3D printer manufacturer Microlight3D has launched a new machine.
The Altraspin™ is a 3D printer capable of producing a resolution as low as 0.2µm – up to 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Valuable to the field of micro robotics, bioengineering, and micro sensors, the machine has been designed to fulfill the growing demands of sub-micron fabrication.
The company’s CEO, Denis Barbier, comments, “Microlight3D designed Altraspin to respond to manufacturing demands for more customization and the rapid prototyping of submicron parts that are not constrained by their geometric or organic shape,”
“Without a doubt, the submicron resolution our technology obtains has been key to our growing success within the scientific community. We anticipate that industrial companies will also benefit from the advantages of our 3D-printer for micro-parts, geared to helping them overcome limitations and reduce time-to-market.”
Microlight3D two-photon polymerization
Founded in 2016 with technology developed at Université Grenoble Alpes, Microlight3D is a specialist in two-photon polymerization. In this method, ultrashort pulses of light are used to initiate the polymerization of a liquid medium two photons at a time. The technique is specially suited to producing incredibly small objects, the likes of which could fit on the tip of a pencil (and even smaller points).
At various universities, related techniques have been used, among other things, to produce anti-counterfeiting fingerprints for 3D printed parts; drug-delivering micro robots and microscopic metal structures.
The main differentiator of Microlight3D’s two-photon polymerization method is that it does not fabricate on a layer by layer basis. It is therefore not limited to the typical resolution of 25µm. As a demonstration of its two photon polymerization capabilities, the company recently 3D printed what is believed to be the world’s smallest self-portrait. This artwork was completed on Microlight3D’s first system the µFAB-3D, and measures just 80µm high.
The Microlight3D Altraspin
The Microlight3D Altraspin is a compact 3D printer with a desktop footprint, measuring just 60 x 42 x 52 cm. It works at a resolution between 0.2µm to 3µm, with a surface smoothness of less than 20 nm. Max object size on the Altraspin is 100 x 75 x 0.6 mm.
Building on the strengths of its µFAB-3D machine, the Altraspin features a new two photon polymerization-specific slicing tool. Microlight3D has also expanded the material range available to two photo lithography with the Altraspin. As Barbier adds, “We removed another constraint by extending user choice in the materials available for 3D microprinting. Altraspin is compatible with a wide range of polymers and biomaterials, including those of our customers.”
The system is compatible with .stl and .step CAD files, and works to a speed of up to 5mm/s.
The Altraspin 3D printer can be purchased directly from Microlight3D at a price of €150,000.
Featured image shows SEM image of moebius knots with Voronoï porosity 3D printed at Microlight3D. Image via Microlight3D