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3D printing of microscale structures unveiled

An opportunity for small component manufacturers has opened with the unveiling of new technology enabling rapid prototyping of high-resolution microscale structures.

As reported, Callaghan Innovation disclosed a new type of 3D printing technology that enables rapid prototyping of high-resolution microscale structures.

The Laminated Resin Printing (LRP) makes it fast, easy and affordable for researchers, developers and manufacturers to create a wide range of printed structures for applications.

These applications include electronics, wearables, sensors, IoT devices and more.

Developers are able to print submillimeter structures with complex geometries of up to 100 per cent density, thanks to this technology.

This is done in extraordinary low-layer thicknesses and with imaging speeds as quick as one second per layer independent of complexity or density.

The reason behind the development of this tech is to address the need to rapidly produce microscale structures in an efficient, convenient and cost-effective way.

Microfabrication is the production of very small high-value devices and is an export industry for New Zealand. Until now, however, making these miniature structures has been slow and expensive.

By comparison, 3D printing has transformed how things are being made. But it cannot operate on the small scale needed for microfabrication.

Thus, the developers set out to create ways to make microfabrication more accessible and are proud to have created a new technology that addresses the significant need for rapid prototyping on the microscale.

And by small, they meant 5 microns. For context, a human hair is about 100 microns.

The highly functional and versatile nature of the technology makes it relevant to many high-tech industries, including aerospace and medical.

This is a game changer where high-resolution, size, weight and durability really matter. With the global miniaturisation megatrend underway, there is a rising demand for smaller components and detailing.

The IDTechEx’s Santa Clara Launchpad is an ideal forum to talk to developers and innovators with a need for prints with high-resolution features and to talk with industry players interested in discussing the commercialisation potential of LRP technology.

The Launchpad is an initiative showcasing new disruptive and state-of-the-art technologies and MicroMaker3D, the developers of LRP, is one of the 10 exhibitors selected for it.

Among the benefits of the technology are: highly functional; fast, with imaging speeds of seconds per layer independent of complexity or density; no cleanroom required; and is scalable from prototype to production using the same high-quality

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency. It has over 200 in-house scientists and technical experts, alongside deep connections into the country’s innovation ecosystem and global expertise.

The government agency helps businesses grow faster by activating innovation and accelerating commercialisation. The organisation is named after Sir Paul Callaghan, a visionary New Zealand scientist and business champion.


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