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Industry News| Scientists Develops Laser 3D Printing to Print Precise Objects in Seconds

Researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a new high-precision method for 3D printing small, soft objects. The process takes less than 30 seconds from beginning to end, and has potential applications in a wide range of fields including 3D bioprinting.

This groundbreaking 3D printing method was developed by researchers at the EPFL Applied Photonics Equipment Laboratory (LAPD) and can be used to make tiny objects with unprecedented precision and resolution. It is based on the principle of tomography. It starts with a bucket of transparent liquid (depending on the required output), which can be a liquid plastic or a biogel, then plugged into a printer. It started spinning, almost as if by magic, the object began to appear in the container. In about 30 seconds, the entire 3D printing process is completed.

At present, this new technology can make objects two centimeters long with an accuracy of 80 microns, which is the diameter of hair. However, they hope to print structures under 15 cm in the future. Capable of printing solid parts of different textures, this technology will be taken in industries such as medicine and biology to make soft objects like tissues, organs, hearing aids and tooth protectors.

The printer works by passing a laser through a translucent gel (which can be a biogel or liquid plastic as needed). "Everything has to do with light," explained Paul Delrot of Readily3D. "Laser hardens a liquid through a polymerization process. Based on the object we are building, we use algorithms to accurately calculate the position, angle, and intensity of the beam we need to aim at. "

In the future, the team will continue developing new equipment with the larger print size, making it possible to print objects up to 15cm high. "The process can also be used to quickly make small silicone or acrylic parts that don't require finishing," said Christophe Moser, LAPD's head. For a new printer, interior design could be a potentially lucrative market.