3D PRINTING A THOUSAND TIMES FASTER


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by Bennett Daviss
3D printing is revolutionizing the manufacture of everything from jet engine parts to artificial human organs – or at least it has the power to if it wasn’t so slow.
Now engineers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have collaborated with colleagues at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop a technique that speeds 3D printing by anywhere from 1,000 to 10,00 times, which can reduce the cost of printing an object by as much as 98 percent.
3D printers typically focus on laying down material one point at a time, even though the print head might seem to be moving continuously.
The researchers found a way to expand the printers’ focus by as much as a million nanoscale points at a time, which also improves the printers’ resolution while it cuts printing time for a large, complex object from days to minutes.
Trendpost: The technology makes 3D printing practical for a range of applications that weren’t able to be considered before, especially large objects with complicated shapes. However, the same technique can be used to turn out nanoscale objects cheaply, bringing the high-resolution manufacture of microscopic parts into the commercial realm.

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