As you can probably guess by its name, French 3D printer manufacturer Microlight3D specializes in ultra high-resolution 3D microprinting systems. The company’s two-photon polymerization direct laser writing technology, which includes proprietary software specifically tuned for faster direct laser writing speeds with sub-micron resolution, allows a laser to move freely in three dimensions, performing uninterrupted 3D printing inside a polymer resist.
This week, Microlight3D launched the next generation of high resolution, microscale 3D printing with its new turnkey system – the compact Altraspin, a 3D printer that can produce extremely complex micro-parts with sub-micron resolution.
“Microlight3D designed Altraspin to respond to manufacturing demands for more customization and the rapid prototyping of submicron parts that are not constrained by their geometric or organic shape. We removed another constraint by extending user choice in the materials available for 3D microprinting. Altraspin is compatible with a wide range of polymers and biomaterials, including those of our customers,” said Microlight3D president Denis Barbier. “Without a doubt, the submicron resolution our technology obtains has been key to our growing success within the scientific community. We anticipate that industrial companies will also benefit from the advantages of our 3D-printer for micro-parts, geared to helping them overcome limitations and reduce time-to-market.”
The Altraspin can achieve a sub-micron resolution down to 0.2µm, which means it can 3D print micro-parts with a resolution that’s 100 times smaller than a single strand of hair, which is great news for applications that need a high-quality surface finish and exact precision, such as cell culture, micro-sensors, metamaterials, micro-optics, tissue engineering, and 3D printing shapes that can fit inside microfluidic devices.
The company’s technology uses a proprietary continuous print flow technique, which is how it manages to not be constrained by the typical layer-by-layer method that limits most 3D printing resolution to 25µm. It’s able to fabricate micro-parts that are so smooth they don’t need any post-processing, which can save manufacturers both time and money.
When designing the new Altraspin 3D printer, Microlight3D focused on its ease of use. As soon as the user designs a 3D model with CAD tools and picks a polymer material, the company’s algorithms will calculate the laser’s path. A laser pulse then writes directly inside the printer’s liquid-material bath in order to very precisely solidify the path it’s taking. The laser can build complex architectures, since it’s able to move around freely and continuously, and a solvent washes away the excess monomer at the end of the process, so users can handle the print immediately upon removal.
The Altraspin has high-writing resolution and precision, along with high-writing speeds, for complex 3D structures, and also features a new TPP slicing tool. Due to its compact design, it’s well-suited for use in clean-room and sterile environments, along with laminar flow cabinets.
Additional tech specs for the Altraspin include:
- Print speed up to 5 mm per second
- STL and STEP files
- Maximum object size of 100 x 75 x 0.6 mm
- Anti-vibration system
- Advanced machine control, including replication and custom plugins for complex parts
Discuss this news and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Source: Optics / Images: Microlight3D]
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