Researchers at the Applied Photonic Device Syd Laboratory (LAPD) at the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, have developed a ground-breaking 3D printing method that could disrupt the industry,media Techspot reported. Traditional 3D printing involves building objects layer by layer through a process called additive manufacturing. It works, but it’s also boring, and the resolution or level of detail is usually not so good.
This new technique is based on the principle of tomography. It starts with a bucket of transparent liquid (depending on the amount of output required), which can be liquid plastic or biogel, and then inserted into the printer. It begins to rotate, almost as if it were magic, and the object begins to appear in the container. The entire 3D printing process is completed in about 30 seconds.
Damien Loterie, chief executive of Readily 3D, which was founded to help develop and sell the technology, says it’s all about light. Lasers are used to harden liquids in barrels through a process called polymerization. He added: “Based on what we are building, we use algorithms to accurately calculate where, angle and dose we need to target the beam. “
Currently, the new technology can create objects that are two centimeters long with an accuracy of 80 microns, or the diameter of the hair. However, they hope to be able to print structures below 15 cm in the future.
There are many potential use cases for this technique. Christophe Moser, head of LAPD, says this can be convenient for making small silicone or acrylic parts that don’t need to be refined after printing. It is also promising in the medical and biological fields because it can be used in soft objects such as hearing aids and tooth protectors.