The center part of the 3D printing procedure is a micropipette linked to a cantilever. This permits watching of the force with which the pipette point meets the substrate. With this arrangement, the experts can electrochemically place liquefied elements into an electrically conductive substrate with a high degree of accuracy.
Thanks to the visual power estimation that automates the procedure. They can create minuscule metal structures level by level.
Exaddon’s Giorgio Ercolano printed the micro-David to emphasize the potential of the technology. Before that, the experts had mostly made little coils or columns.
“However, the process allows us to print structures or geometries of all levels of complexity,” says Ercolano.
The modeling was printed once minus support or templates. It also did not need any tampering or firing. Ercolano and colleagues state their conclusions in the journal Micromachines.
Exaddon, an offshoot of ETH Zurich spin-off Cytosurge, acted with a group directed by ETH professor Tomaso Zambelli of the Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioelectronics.
The information of the David sculpture is easily available online.
“I could even have printed the room that the statue is standing in—the data includes that as well!” noted Ercolano. However, he decided to modify the data arranged so he could repeat Michelangelo’s David minus its showplace.
Ercolano modeled David in two sizes. The first as a statue just one millimeter high, and then one ten times smaller.
“The smaller figure is only as tall as the pedestal of the larger one,” he states.
However, with the structures that tiny, attaining the needed resolution turns out to be an issue. Printed Metalling micro items typically begin at one micrometer. For additional complex and detailed items, the sizes vary from 100 micrometer to 1 mm.
When it comes to time, 1 mm model is a life away from the ten times smaller model. The machine required thirty hours to make the big David but only 20 minutes were needed for the small version.
Apparently, the method can print items up to five mm in size. But the printer cartridge contains just a microliter of ink which is about adequate of making the huge David. It is also adequate ink to model several or ven thousand of petite objects. This shows the actual power of the procedure.
The printing procedure is of interest first and foremost to the electronics sector. With this technique, makers could link computer chips together or accurately restore microelectronics systems. While other metals may be printed like nickel, platinum, gold, or silver, copper is in high demand.
“Nine out of ten inquiries are about copper,” Ercolano remarks.