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Apr 22, 2022

Scientists develop rapid new method of 3D printing glass into parts with “the thickness of hair”

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

Researchers at the University of Freiburg have worked with colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley to come up with a novel means of rapidly 3D printing complex glass parts at a microscopic scale.

Known as ‘Microscale Computed Axial Lithography’ (Micro-CAL), this approach involves exposing resin to 2D light images of a desired shape from multiple angles, which when they overlap, trigger polymerization. When used to print the Glassomer material previously honed at Freiburg, the team say their layer-free process has the potential to unlock devices with new microfluidic or micro-optical functionality.

“For the first time, we were able to print glass with structures in the range of 50 micrometers in just a few minutes, which corresponds roughly to the thickness of a hair,” explains the University of Freiburg’s Dr. Frederik Kotz-Helmer. The ability to manufacture such components at high speed and with great geometric freedom will enable new functions and more cost-effective products in the future.”

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