nanoscribeOne of the nice things about having access to a 3D printer is that you’ll never be in a pinch when it comes to birthday and Christmas presents. If you’re broke, or just have no idea what to get someone for Christmas, just print something cool for them. I’ve found that 3D printing is still enough of a novelty to most people that when I give them something I printed myself, they’re thrilled – it almost doesn’t matter what it is.

German company Nanoscribe has even more of an advantage over the rest of us. The company, formed out of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), is at the forefront of some extremely cutting-edge research into additive manufacturing technology – perhaps most notably, 3D printing on the nanoscale. Nanoscribe has developed technology capable of 3D printing perfectly detailed, high-resolution structures on a microscopic level, small enough to be invisible to the naked eye – and while nanoprinting carries with it a world of serious potential for numerous applications, it’s also just plain cool – and Nanoscribe is certainly aware of that fact.

On September 29-30, Karlsruhe hosted the annual HeKKSaGOn conference. HeKKSaGon, also known as the German-Japanese University Network, was founded in 2010 for the purpose of sharing research and strengthening international cooperation in science, technology, culture and economics. Its name is an acronym for the six participating universities: Heidelberg University, Kyoto University, Karlsruhe, Sendai University, the University of Göttingen, and Osaka University.

Pyramide HekksagonNanoscribe welcomed the Japanese university leaders to Germany with a unique gift: a tiny 3D printed replica of the Karlsruhe Pyramid, a red sandstone pyramid built in the 19th century in the middle of the city’s market square. It’s the city’s most notable landmark, and the Japanese university leaders certainly won’t forget it, as they were each given a minuscule 3D printed representation standing only 2mm high. That’s actually somewhat large compared to some of the other things Nanoscribe has printed – such as a hair-sized replica of the Great Wall of China that the company presented to the Chinese President last year.

The tiny pyramids were 3D printed in just a few hours using Nanoscribe’s Photonic Professional GT 3D printing system. The printer is the highest-resolution commercially available micro 3D printer, and Nanoscribe showed off its capacity for detail by printing the logos of KIT, HeKKSaGon, and Nanoscribe on the sides of the pyramid.

“We are honored that we were picked to create the gifts for the Japanese guests,” said Nanoscribe CEO Martin Hermatschweiler. “In addition to submicron accuracy, our Photonic Professional GT System’s ability to customize is one of its particular strengths. That’s how we came up with the idea to make this very special edition of the Karlsruhe landmark.”

© copyright by KIT Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing Abdruck honorarfrei im redaktionellen Bereich Belegexemplar erbeten

(L to R) Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel (President of the University of Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Juichi Yamagiwa (President of the University of Kyoto), Professor Dr. Holger Hanselka (President of the KIT), Prof. Dr. Susumu Satomi (President of the University of Tohoku), Prof. Dr. Ulrike Beisiegel (President of the University of Göttingen), Prof. Dr. Shojiro Nishio (President of the University of Osaka) [Image: Magali Hauser, KIT]

Nanoscribe’s 3D printing technology is already being used in more than 30 countries for industrial and research purposes, and they continue to work on the further development of their two-photon polymerization technology. While they’re still a young company, they’re a memorable one – for their groundbreaking research, certainly, but also for their excellent gifts. Discuss further in the Nanoscribe Presents 3D Printed Gift forum over at 3DPB.com.

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