Chinese president Xi Jinping was presented with a tiny 3D printed gift upon his visit of the Hamlyn Centre at Imperial College London.
Fascinated by 3D printed objects narrower than a human hair and produced by Nanoscribe‘s Photonic Professonal GT system, the president was presented with a section of the Great Wall of China printed on the micrometer scale.
Prince Andrew got to take home a panda leaping over a bamboo, which was printed to the tip of a needle. “The height of the panda is approximately 50 micrometres, or half the width of a human hair”, explained Maura Power, a PhD student supervised by Professor Yang at Hamlyn Centre.
The process used to create these microscopic objects is called two photon polymerisation (2PP) and involves a controlled laser point to solidify photo-sensitive liquid material. Researchers at the Hamlyn Centre apply the technology to develop previously impossible medical therapies and devices, such as swimming micro robots for targeted drug delivery as well as ultra-small instruments for microsurgery.
Following video shows the printing process in detail: