You generally expect an F1 car to be more impressive than the one you’re seeing above. However, this F1 is not what it appears to be. This little replica was created in just four minutes at the Vienna University of Technology using the world’s fastest 3D printer. The vehicle measures just a mere 0.285mm in length.

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We have discussed 3D printers before here at Inhabitat as thetechnology has the potential to transform the world by creating entire buildings out of stone, delicious meals out of simple ingredients, and even replicating body parts. However, the Austrian team have broken a new world speed record for creating a 3D nano-object.

The University team created their grain of sand-size auto-mobile in a fraction of the time that other items have been printed. The scientists said the technique could be used to make small biomedical parts. The team’s 3D printer was able to produce the car in about 100 layers, each consisting of 200 single printed lines.

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Jurgen Stampfl said: “The technology itself is quite well known in the science arena, but the problem was that it was always extremely slow. It was good as a showcase, but for real world applications it was much too time-consuming. Making complex large 3D structures would take hours or even days Using our set-up and materials, we can speed that up by a factor of 500 or in some cases 1,000 times.”

The team’s process is called”two-photon lithography” and involves using a focused laser beam to harden liquid resin in order to create micro objects of solid polymer. 3D printers however create objects by constantly adding layers in order to create a solid material. The resin only sets if the molecules within it absorb two photons of the laser beam at once, however the team’s speed breakthrough came from using mirrors to focus the laser.

The team also demonstrated the accuracy of their equipment by creating nano-models of London’s Tower Bridge and Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral. It is hoped that their research will help researchers in developing bio-compatible resins that can be used by doctors.

+ Vienna University of Technology

Via The Daily Mail