This article, part of 3D printing metamaterials, will explore nano 3D technology. This 3D printing technology is used to create individual biomedical and electronic nanoscale devices. These are usually for research. Researchers at the moment are trying to find ways to modify microscopic properties by printing micro-objects.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory created a new project to examine these possibilities. Using a projection micrography technique (PSL), a plan was made that can support 10,000 times it’s weight. Like most metamaterials we looked at in this series, this power is based on the structure’s geometry.
The LLNL team devised a way to project ultraviolet light from the LED onto a micromirror. They did this by using a series of optic elements that reflected light and reduced its size. Researchers tested different lattice shapes and found that they have varying rigidities and strengths.
Polymer resin is their main material. But the research team also has the capability to build metal and ceramic micro lattice structures. This involves adding metal and/or other materials to the gum, and then burning the polymer off using thermal energy. This results in a stronger object that is still very light.
LLNL expands on that research in a number of different ways. LLNL employs this technology in order to examine how metamaterials, 3D printing can help optimize helmet design. 3D printed, thin-layered metamaterials of 3D polymer thick layers were used to compare traditional elastomers with 3D printed ones. While the elastomers ages faster than 3Dprinted polymers, they last longer. Studies have also been done on copper-polymer mixtures which shrink when heated.
Cheng Zhu, an Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher, and Wen Chen a former Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory created an ink which contained silver particles and gold. The printed 3D parts are heated up to condense silver particles. For porous, gold-colored parts, the 3D parts go into a chemical bath.
Yet, these nanoscale systems could be made more efficient. Max Planck Institute of Light Sciences, Germany has invented a technique called a “prelude” to atomiclevel printing. This technology uses light to combine light with an atom or nanoparticle, and achieves light wave clipping.
In this way, both the spacetime distribution of light and either the polarization or oscillation directions of the electrical field can be focused onto the object on a smaller scale then the wavelength of that light. It has been proven that this laser beam can trap an atom and create nanostructures.
This powder can be used to create nano-and microscale 3D printed objects, although most of it is being applied later at the macro-scale. Scientists are currently working in teams to make these small-scale objects that can then be deployed outdoors. Virginia Tech is studying the effect of seven order of magnitude magnifying on structured materials. Researchers at Virginia Tech have created metal parts tens or centimeters thick made from nanoscale hollow tubes. These proved that they are 400% more elastic than other similar products.
LLNL’s own commitment to combining the best of both traditional and nanoscale stereolithography via large-area, projection microscopic Stereolithography has allowed for an expansion in nanoimprinting. Bryan Moran is the creator of LAPSL. Each tile has many details. Together they make a movie. “This tool allows you to make large parts faster, which is very useful.
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