Nanoscribe goes beyond the nanoscale with high precision 3D printing – 3DPrint.com
Nanoscribe, a subsidiary of BICO, is known for its two-photon polymerization (2PP), capable of producing complex and highly detailed objects at the nanometer and microscopic scale. Now, the company has announced the ability of its Quantum X shape 3D printer to print 3D structures at millimeter and penny scales. With the new Extra Large Features (XLF) print kit, it is now possible to produce large batches of tiny parts or larger, extremely detailed objects.
Nanoscribe suggests that 2PP is capable of achieving 100 times the accuracy of other technologies, such as high-resolution stereolithography or digital light projection or even projection micro-stereolithography (PµSL). However, its ability to 3D print objects as small as a few millimeters has limited its throughput applications. To achieve greater scale, the XLF Print Kit relies on a new air lens with a 5x magnification factor, increasing the print field diameter up to 3200µm and a working distance of 18.5mm. Nanoscribe also features high scanning speed, adjustable voxel sizes, and sensitive resin.
The XLF print kit enables the production of centimeter-sized parts with two to five times the accuracy of other microfabrication technologies, according to the company. In a single pass, objects up to 30 cubic centimeters can be 3D printed. This means that large objects with very fine detail or batches of millimeter-sized parts can be 3D printed, such as millimeter-scale connectors and housings, microfluidics, and scaffolds for biomedical research.
“The XLF Print Kit brings a whole new world of opportunity to the Quantum X Form,” says Dr. Michael Thiel, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Nanoscribe. “First and foremost, you get tremendous speed up in manufacturing large quantities of large object prints in one batch,” summarizes Thiel, one of the key benefits of the new XLF Print Kit .
There are other processes competing for the rapid production of small, finely detailed objects. So far, Readily 3D is able to 3D print centimeter-scale objects in seconds, but they don’t have the same resolution of 2PP. There’s also Boston Micro Fabrication, which builds on the PµSL process mentioned above. Naoscribe claims it can outperform this technology in terms of resolution.
However, UpNano is a close competitor in terms of capabilities, having announced in 2020 the possibility of using its own 2PP technology to produce centimeter-scale parts. It lacks the same backing power as Nanoscribe, with BICO advancing rapidly in the bio-printing market. But, given UpNano’s own similar bio-printing technology, one wonders if a company like 3D Systems could pick it up to give some combat clout. Who knows? Perhaps 3D Systems will acquire both Readily 3D and UpNano as it rapidly expands its bioprinting division. If he could get them all properly integrated, it could give BICO a run for its money.
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