Developers at Laser Zentrum Hanover (LZH, Germany) are using their two-photon polymerization system to create 100-200 nm structures. The idea is similar to rapid prototyping, but in 3D rather than building with 2D layers. Twin laser beams, generating femtosecond laser pulses focused at the same point in a liquid resin, sweeping through three dimensions, form the nanostructures or microstructures. Two-photon polymerization solidifies the resin at the localized focus area.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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