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Nanoscribe 3D-prints microscopic objects using freakin' laser beams

Kevin Lee | May 20, 2013
As cool as it is to be able to replicate just about any object you want using a 3D printer, the things you create can still look really rough, because the printers are not high-resolution. That is, the layers of plastic it lays down are not thin enough--think of it a little like the jaggies on a low-resolution computer screen.

"One study is that some people put stem cells onto a very flat surface and then the stem cells differentiated into some kind of brain cell because they don't have enough stress from the sides," Cui said. "So if you have a 3D confinement, then the stem cell might differentiate into bone cells or some kind of muscle cells just depending on what kind of confinement you can apply to the cells"

Nanoscribe was created as a spin-off startup business of a Karlsruhe Institute of Technology laboratory through a partnership between Professor Martin Wegener and German glass company Carl Zeiss--which should sound familiar to photographers.

There are already 50 Nanoscribe machines distributed worldwide in research labs for institutions including the US Air Force, Caltech, and other Universities. Nanoscribe plans to start selling its new, faster printers for more commercial uses by the second half of this year.


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