While the history of Additive Manufacturing by now encompasses more than 30 years, Two-Photon 3D Laser Nanoprinting, which allows for complex architectures on a much finer scale, dates back to 1997 when Shoji Maruo (member of the 3DMM2O scientific advisory board) and his colleagues first used the solidification of photopolymers for 3D microfabrication.
A new feature article by Cluster researchers published in the October 2019 issue of Optics & Photonics News (OPN), the renowned monthly news magazine of the Optical Society (OSA), describes the current state and potential future of this technology.
The review article includes a comparison of the speed and precision of different technologies for 3D Additive Manufacturing by V. Hahn et al. (unpublished data, see figure on the top right). Their comparison indicates that while established technologies like Inkjet 3D printing reach a high peak printing rate, they lack in precision. Though there is a high variation in Two-photon printing, recent research shows comparable speed while delivering a remarkably higher precision, enabling applications on the nanoscale.
The authors Vincent Hahn, Frederik Mayer, Michael Thiel and Martin Wegener pose three major challenges of the further development of the technology which are also the main focus of the research conducted within 3DMM2O: "making ever finer structures, faster, and in more different materials". They also provide an introduction of a new approach inspired by the rise of light-sheet optical microscopy that promises "substantial increases in speed" that "could catapult 3-D printing at the microscale to a new level".
Publication (Open Access):
Vincent Hahn, Frederik Mayer, Michael Thiel and Martin Wegener: 3-D Laser Nanoprinting. Optics & Photonics News. 2019. URL: https://www.osa-opn.org/home/articles/volume_30/october_2019/features/3-d_laser_nanoprinting/.