Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Printer Hardware Technology

3D Printing On a Microscopic Scale 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the small-details dept.
cylonlover writes "Three-dimensional printers are popping up everywhere these days. Some are small enough to fit in a briefcase and others are large enough to print houses, but scientists at the Vienna University of Technology are going for the microscopic. Earlier this year, the university built a 3D printer that uses lasers to operate on a tiny scale. Now they're refining the technique to enable precise placement of a selected molecule in a three-dimensional material. This process, called '3D-photografting,' can potentially be used to create a 'lab on a chip' or artificially grow living tissue."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

3D Printing On a Microscopic Scale

Comments Filter:
  • But... (Score:4, Funny)

    by JoeRobe (207552) on Monday September 03, 2012 @04:01PM (#41215737) Homepage

    How many 3D Libraries of Congress per cubic centimeter will it be able to print?

    • by forkazoo (138186)

      How many 3D Libraries of Congress per cubic centimeter will it be able to print?

      Several fortnights worth.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one that sees it?

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Monday September 03, 2012 @04:18PM (#41215875) Homepage Journal

      Am I the only one that sees it?

      no. it's basic scifi material. universal constructor building would be a holy grail for manufacturing - for manufacturing _anything_. meanwhile, I just got my makerbot replicator last week. been having fun ever since.

      it's still pretty rough around the edges, the sw(replicatorg) has some odd quirks(who am I kidding.. they're bugs.), configuring the slicer(the program that creates the paths for the print-end) is voodoo and I'm considering buying hairspray to better bond the prints to the build platform when building.

      but it's fun and magical stuff - certainly first time in years that I've felt getting a piece of "new technology" that's just not refinement of something I've already had for years. it's like getting that first computer.

      (oh and anyone uploading stuff to thingiverse.. print it before uploading.. lot's of the stuff there is no good for printing without changes!).

      also, does anyone know a site that has the elite shipmodels? vrml mesh, stl(preferred), .obj, .3ds or any fucking format under the sun! I WANT THEM NOW!

      • When it is refined, this is going to be such a disruptive technology that it is going to make DRM / Music piracy look like a very simple problem.
    • No, the rest of us saw it years ago and have got all the references out of our system now.
    • Better a Star Trek replicator than a Stargate replicator.

  • Just think of all the possibilities. They will be able to make and invent all sorts of things for the benefit of all humanity.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or give us a whole new dimension of copyright legal battles.

    • print a BIG briefcase for the suitcase nuke you just printed.
  • Articles like this make me think we'll have the technology to print organic chemicals en-mass sooner rather than later. I'm not wanting to be an alarmist fear-monger, but some fanatic or other is bound to start printing nerve agents when the technology is available. Does this worry anybody else?

    • Re:Antisocial Usage (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JoeRobe (207552) on Monday September 03, 2012 @06:30PM (#41216951) Homepage

      It will almost certainly be more economical to make something like a nerve agent using old fashioned chemistry. You can scale up a synthesis to bulk volumes much more easily than waiting for a printer to print out a bulk amount of product. Reaction rate (or reaction time) is independent of volume (ideally), whereas printing time will go linearly with volume.

    • by hot soldering iron (800102) on Monday September 03, 2012 @06:57PM (#41217185)

      Your ARE late to the party. They (Professor Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow and a team of 45 researchers) had big stories about their work released in July of this year (2012).

      But to answer your question: not really. It's called prioritizing potential threats. Getting killed driving to work is first (I drive a tiny, tiny sports car), Getting electrocuted or stabbed while at work (pneumatics and high voltage, baby!) Getting nailed by severe thunderstorms or tornadoes in "tornado alley". Being killed as a "domestic terrorist" (I'm prior military that enjoys my rights). Being killed by 3d printed poisons in a terrorist attack ranks lower down the list than even "frozen piss falling from overhead airliner".

      Terrorists are people with a variety of skillsets and levels, just like anyone else. If they have the skills to print toxins, they have the skills to do a whole lot worse. High school kids can make explosives by the trashcan full, a real bio-chemical engineer could easily get creative enough to make highly addictive chemicals that are hypnotics and have embed-able dispensers that release only when they receive encrypted transmissions. Want to control a country? Addict and control the political, financial, religious, and military leaders. Screw messing with the weak sheep. That's simply a non-optimum diversion.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        ...highly addictive chemicals that are hypnotics and have embed-able dispensers that release only when they receive encrypted transmissions. Want to control a country? Addict and control the political, financial, religious, and military leaders.

        Somehow, reading that, I can't help thinking about how nobody can get elected in the US without professing belief in God...

      • by JoeRobe (207552)

        a real bio-chemical engineer could easily get creative enough to make highly addictive chemicals that are hypnotics and have embed-able dispensers that release only when they receive encrypted transmissions

        Uh, reference please?

        Being in the field of biophysics, I can say that even the most advanced bioengineering institutes in the world, with tens of millions of dollars in funding, are very, very far from realizing anything like this. Hypnotics aren't drugs that hypnotize and allow someone to control you -

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We'll also have the ability to print sensors to warn of such things.

      The ability for a small group of malcontents to do large-scale harm will continue to increase.

      We can't stop scientific advances. Even if we tear down every school in America, people in other countries will continue to learn.

      We just need to adapt to new dangers as they occur.

  • Now they're refining the technique to enable precise placement of a selected molecule in a three-dimensional material. This process, called '3D-photografting,' can potentially be used to create a 'lab on a chip' or artificially grow living tissue."

    All links in summary are to old stories, where is the link describing this new work that is so amazing?

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

Working...