According to media Techspot, researchers at the Institute of Engineering of the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland have developed a breakthrough 3D printing method that could disrupt the industry. Traditional 3D printing involves building objects layer by layer from scratch through a process called additive manufacturing. It works, but it's tedious, and the resolution or level of detail is usually not that good.
This new technology is based on the principle of tomography. It starts with a bucket of transparent liquid (depending on the required output), which can be a liquid plastic or a biogel, and then plugged into a printer. It started spinning, almost as if by magic, the object began to appear in the container. In about 30 seconds, the entire 3D printing process is complete.
Damien Loterie, CEO of Readily3D (the company was formed to help develop and sell the technology), says everything is about light. Lasers are used to harden liquids in barrels through a process called polymerization. He added: "Based on what we are going to build, we use algorithms to calculate exactly where we need to aim the beam, angle and dose."
At present, this new technology can make objects two centimeters long with an accuracy of 80 microns, which is the diameter of hair. However, they hope to print structures under 15 cm in the future.
There are many potential use cases for this technology. Christophe Moser, principal of LAPD, said that this may be convenient for making small silicone or acrylic parts that do not require finishing after printing. It is also promising in the medical and biological fields because it can be used for soft objects such as hearing aids and tooth protectors.