Tuesday, 13 March 2012

3D Printing & (micro) Formula 1

When I saw this headline on The Register

Speedy 3D printer creates 285um Formula-1 speedster

I had to take a look. I have a number of interests, but 3D printing and Formula 1 are high on my list, and anything that is "geeky" attracts my attention too, so a 3D-printed microscopic Formula 1 car is about as cool as it gets for me!

It seems that a team at the Vienna Institute of Technology  has pushed the technology of laser-cured polymers to new limits, both in scale and speed.

"Until now, this technique used to be quite slow," said Professor J├╝rgen Stampfl from the Institute of Materials Science and Technology in a statement. "The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second – our device can do five meters in one second."

OK, so they are only doing this on a microscopic scale (the Formula 1 car is less than a third of a millimetre long!) - but imagine when they can scale up - you could print yourself a full-size car in a  few minutes!