World’s smallest wine glass toasts to nanoscale silica 3D printing. Michael Irving. Cutting the Cost of Micro- and Nanomanufacturing. Frank Niklaus
Recent advancements in 3D printing have demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in creating tiny glass structures. By utilizing a new printing technology, a small pool of hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ), a material containing the necessary ingredients to form silica glass, is exposed to laser pulses of concise duration. The laser pulses cause the HSQ to crosslink into silica glass at the focal point, creating voxels (3D pixels) as small as 65 x 260 nanometers. This groundbreaking technique showcases the potential of 3D printing to fabricate intricate and detailed structures at the nanoscale, offering unique opportunities in fields such as photonics, optics, and microelectronics.
3D printing plays a vital role in various industries by enabling rapid prototyping, customization, cost-effectiveness, and creating complex geometries. This technology empowers businesses to innovate, reduce manufacturing costs, meet individual customer needs, and push the boundaries of design and functionality. Recent developments in 3D printing techniques, exemplified by the creation of tiny glass structures, highlight this transformative technology’s limitless possibilities and potential applications.