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Science Technology

Nanoscale 3D Printer Now Commercially Available 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the small-jobs dept.
kkleiner writes "Now the field of 3D printing has advanced so far that a company called Nanoscribe is offering one of the first commercially available 3D printers for the nanoscale. Nanoscribe's machine can produce tiny 3D printed objects that are only the width of a single human hair. Amazingly this includes 3D printed objects such as spaceships, micro needles, or even the empire state building."
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Nanoscale 3D Printer Now Commercially Available

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  • by John Hasler (414242) on Sunday March 17, 2013 @08:59PM (#43199999) Homepage

    > so 30nm resolution is not nano scale enough for you?

    That's 3% at one micron: barely adequate for devices with minimum dimensions of one micron and up. For nanoscale devices you need one nanometer or better.

    Look at the examples. They're all dimensioned in the tens to hundreds of microns.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @02:28AM (#43201023)

    "Nano" is considered sub 100 nm in any one spatial dimension, as defined by government funding agencies.

    If that happens to mean anything to you :D

  • by dissy (172727) on Monday March 18, 2013 @04:52AM (#43201357)

    It's a bit of a long read, but (IMHO) one of the best sources on the matter is Engines of Creation [e-drexler.com] by Eric Drexler.

    He describes the very concept of nanotechnology, defines it as well as much philosophy around it, with plenty of examples of thing that can be done once manufacturing on this scale is achieved.

    Such machines do technically already exist, such as the ribosome. Once a similar machine is created that is under complete human control pragmatically, it will be a world altering event.

    If you think of the process of a cell performing its work, dividing, assembling its programmed structure, and eventually creating something on the macro scale like a whale or elephant - then you are thinking on the right scale.

    The 3D printer referenced in the article is not yet able to produce structures at this scale, let alone functional machines at this scale.
    At best it might be one step on the path towards true nanotechnology, as smaller tools build smaller tools and so on.

    Some additional material on the subject that found recently was on youtube under productive nanosystems [youtube.com]
    While this is purely an artists rendering, one video I happened upon that really brings home the scale factor is their nano-factory [youtube.com] video.

    This is what most people are referring to when using the term nanotechnology.

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