Nano Level Metal 3D Printing Introduced by ETH Zurich

Published Date : Jan 20, 2016

Growing demand for 3D printing technology has boosted the market for 3D printing materials. 3D materials such as ceramics, laywood, plastics, metals, and wax are used to convert digital files used for 3D printing into tangible objects. The global 3D printing market is projected to register a robust growth in the coming years. 3D printer manufacturers are trying to develop new 3D printing materials which would offer high strength 3D models with improved surface finish. Among the extensively used 3D printing materials, plastics account for the largest share in the global 3D printing materials market. Growing demand for consumer products and electronics is anticipated to further fuel the demand for plastics as 3D printing materials. 

Plant-based plastics have come up as a popular choice for 3D printing as they are environmentally sustainable and are easier to work with during processing. Biome3D, a biodegradable thermoplastic made from plant starches has been developed by Biome Bioplastics, in partnership with 3Dom Filaments. The biodegradable thermoplastic combines superior print finish and easy processing while offering higher print speeds. 

ETH Zurich and its sister concern, Cytosurge AG, have introduced a new and unique technology for 3D printing metal components on a nano level. The technology termed FluidFM is already been in use across biological research but is about to hit new markets and potentially will have a major impact on a wide range of industries. The technology allows partially overhanging nanostructures to be printed in one step, thereby improving significantly on the complicated, multi-step process presently needed for printing overhangs. This would automate the overall 3D printing process. FluidFM has been used in biological research to inject individual cells or to sort and analyze cells.