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Nanoscribe Introduces 3D Printing by 2GL

Results are high print quality, increased throughput

Published: Tuesday, December 5, 2023 - 12:00

(Nanoscribe: Karlsruhe, Germany) -- Nanoscribe, a BICO company, has introduced a new 3D microfabrication technology called 3D printing by 2GL.

Two-photon grayscale lithography (2GL) is setting new standards for 3D nano- and microfabrication. The technology merges the high resolution of two-photon polymerization (2PP) with a patented voxel-tuning process to achieve significantly fewer printing layers. This makes 2GL the fastest 2PP-based 3D printing technology with unparalleled shape accuracy and superior print quality. It paves the way for new applications, such as manufacturing even more filigree microoptical systems, along with producing higher quality in much shorter print times. This is why 3D grayscale printing is now offered as a new feature for Quantum X align.

Nanoscribe’s Quantum X platform for additive manufacturing of optical-grade 2D and 2.5D microstructures has become the preferred solution for industrial manufacturing and mastering of microoptics. Now, nanoscribe improves voxel tuning technology by introducing 3D printing by 2GL to the aligned two-photon lithography (A2PL) features of Quantum X align.

Unmatched precision with outstanding shape accuracy

The printing process relies on dynamic modulation of laser power in real time while scanning at highest speed. This results in a precise size adjustment of the polymerizing voxel to perfectly match the contours of any 3D shape. 3D printing by 2GL guarantees flawless optical-grade surfaces and finest submicron features without any slicing steps or shape distortion—just the real shape of any 3D print design.

Up to 60 times higher throughput

3D printing by 2GL is the fastest 2PP-based microfabrication technology on the market. Its dynamic voxel tuning requires fewer printing layers to achieve smooth optical-grade print results on nanostructured surfaces. This translates to a manufacturing speed unattainable by any 2PP-based 3D printer available. The fastest additive manufacturing technology on the market for 3D nano- and microfabrication delivers 10 to 60 times the throughput of any current two-photon lithography system when meeting demanding print quality requirements.*

New opportunities for photonic applications

3D printing by 2GL delivers the highest optical-grade quality, enables the finest submicron features, and manufactures with previously unimaginable high throughput. Thus, it significantly advances microoptics manufacturing and photonics packaging. Nanoscribe’s Quantum X align with its A2PL is supported by the advanced aligner software nanoPrintX.

Quantum X align is optimized for printing microoptical elements with the highest placement accuracy and automatically aligned on optical fibers and photonic chips. With this level of manufacturing quality and speed, 3D printing by 2GL advances the industrialization of free-space microoptical coupling (FSMOC) as a highly robust and efficient light-coupling solution for photonics packaging and integration.

Pushing the limits of 3D microfabrication

3D printing by 2GL marks a new era for 2PP-based 3D microfabrication. There are numerous potential use cases for this technology beyond microoptics and photonics wherever fast printing speed, optical-quality surfaces, fine submicron details, or textured surfaces are critical.

*Comparison refers to the same print quality and is design-dependent.

stacked freeform lenses With its exceptional print quality and speed, 3D printing by 2GL is opening up previously inaccessible applications. These high-precision optics, developed for a miniature endomicroscope, are a perfect example: All three free-form lenses have optical-grade surfaces on the top and bottom, integrating diffractive and refractive elements in one optical system, and are printed in one pass. Manufactured by Nanoscribe, lens designed by Printoptix.

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