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Sunday, July 7, 2024

A Two-Laser 3D Printer Delivers Energy, Price Financial savings for Excessive-Decision Nano-Scale Objects

A crew of researchers from Purdue College have give you a brand new approach for 3D printing advanced objects at a excessive decision — delivering, they are saying, the potential for decrease price and better precision than current approaches.

“We mixed a comparatively low-cost laser emitting seen mild with a femtosecond laser emitting infrared pulses to scale back the facility requirement of the femtosecond laser [in our printer],” corresponding writer Xianfan Xu explains of the crew’s work. “On this approach, with a given femtosecond laser energy, the printing throughput could be elevated, resulting in a decrease price for printing particular person elements.”

The 3D printing methodology focused by the crew is two-photon polymerization, which makes use of a mode-locking laser able to pulsing at a price measured in femtoseconds. It presents extraordinarily excessive decision, able to printing nano-scale elements, however comes at a excessive price in each the laser elements and the facility they want. To unravel this, the crew’s 3D printer makes use of two lasers: an 800nm femtosecond laser and a 532nm nanosecond laser.

Combining the 2, the researchers say, permits the printer to function with a 50 % discount in laser energy — which, in flip, means a lower-cost femtosecond laser can be utilized. “In a traditional two-photon polymerization printing course of, the femtosecond laser is first used to provoke a photochemical course of that reduces the inhibition species within the materials earlier than printing begins,” Xu explains. “We used a low-cost laser for this goal as an alternative.”

In testing, the crew’s two-laser system proved able to delivering high-accuracy printing for objects measured on the nano- and micro-scale. Higher nonetheless, it proved the facility financial savings: 3D buildings could possibly be printed utilizing round 50 % much less energy from the femtosecond laser, whereas 2D buildings could possibly be printed with 80 % much less energy.

“This new printing strategy may affect manufacturing applied sciences, influencing the event of units throughout client electronics and healthcare sectors each now and sooner or later,” Xu claims. “Our novel, 3D printing strategy could be readily carried out in lots of current femtosecond laser 3D printing methods.”

The crew’s work has been revealed within the journal Optics Categorical beneath open-access phrases.

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