German technology company Nanoscribe, using 3D printer Photonic Professional GT to print a polymer model on the microscale. The length of the models are about equal to the diameter of a human hair!
Images © Nanoscribe
The technology behind most 3-D microprinters is called two-photon polymerization. It involves focusing tiny, ultrashort pulses from a near-infrared laser on a light-sensitive material. The material polymerizes and solidifies at the focused spots. As the laser beam moves in three dimensions, it creates a 3-D object.
This video shows a realtime recording of the 3D micro printing process by two-photon polymerization. The final structure is then inspected with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Printing time was less than 50 seconds for the ship with dimensions 125µm x 81µm x 26.8µm (l x w x h).
The length of the spaceship is approximately equal to the diameter of a human hair.