Acousto-optical scanning achieved a record-breaking rate of 3D printing.


Title: Revolutionizing 3D Printing: Acousto-Optic Scanning Sparks the Next Generation of Speed and Precision

Date: October 10, 2023

We are currently witnessing a groundbreaking advancement in the field of 3D printing. Professor Wei Xiong’s group from the Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology has introduced a pioneering high-speed multi-photon polymerization lithography technique. This technique has achieved a record-breaking 3D printing rate of 7.6 × 107 voxel s−1, nearly ten times faster than previous scanning multiphoton lithography methods.

The recently published study in the International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing (IJEM) describes how this groundbreaking technology, based on acousto-optic scanning with spatial-switching (AOSS), not only prints complex 3D micro-nano structures with exceptional accuracy but also achieves an unprecedented 3D printing rate. In simpler terms, it’s like an artist painting a self-portrait within a span of five minutes, with every intricate detail coming to life vividly.

Speed and precision are crucial factors in evaluating micro-nano three-dimensional printing technologies, and this novel technique excels in both aspects. “Processing speed and processing accuracy are important performance parameters for evaluating micro-nano three-dimensional printing technology, and this technology has excellent performance in both aspects,” said Prof. Wei Xiong. “This research provides a feasible technical route for achieving large-scale nano-3D printing in the future.”

The manufacturing of intricate and complex three-dimensional micro-nano structures is foundational for numerous cutting-edge disciplines. Two-photon lithography (TPL), with its true three-dimensional digital fabrication capabilities and nanoscale processing resolution beyond the diffraction limit, has been at the forefront of research in this field. TPL has found extensive applications in domains such as three-dimensional metamaterial, micro-optical and microelectronic components, as well as biomedical engineering.

However, TPL has been hindered by its limited processing speed. For instance, printing a simple coin using traditional TPL methods often takes dozens of hours, making it impractical for industrial-scale production. To overcome this constraint, Jiao, a member of Prof. Xiong’s team, conducted a series of experimental studies and discovered the acousto-optic deflector (AOD) as a key element to increase printing speed.

Traditional scanning-based TPL methods rely on mechanical scanning systems, such as galvanometric mirrors, which are constrained by inertia. In contrast, AOD enables inertial-free acousto-optic scanning, resulting in a significant speed improvement. Jiao aptly explained, “The motion of a moving car usually includes sequential actions such as braking, turning around, and subsequent acceleration which inherently consumes a substantial amount of time due to the influence of inertia.” In contrast, AOD, being based on sound waves, is not constrained by inertia, resulting in a remarkable 5 to 20-fold increase in laser scanning speed.

Jiao also developed a nonlinear signal modulation technique for the AOD, ensuring that the spot size approximates the diffraction limit during high-speed acousto-optic scanning. Furthermore, the integration of diffractive optical elements (DOE) enabled multi-focal parallel acousto-optic scanning, significantly enhancing processing throughput. With an eight-focal-point Multiphoton Lithography (MPL) system, a voxel size of 212 nm and a voxel printing rate of 7.6 × 107 voxel/s were achieved. In Jiao’s words, “Multiple focal points can be printed separately, as if one person had eight hands.” This printing rate is 8.4 times faster than the fastest mechanically scanned MPL method reported to date and 38 times faster than the fastest diffractive scanned MPL method reported. When compared to commercialized MPL methods, this technique can enhance printing speed by up to 490 times.

While there is still a long way to go before this technology can be implemented in factories, the team remains optimistic about the future of AOSS. Prof. Xiong believes that by increasing the acousto-optic scanning range and speed, as well as the number of foci, the throughput of AOSS can be further enhanced.

The revolution sparked by the acousto-optic scanning technique marks an exciting chapter in the realm of 3D printing. By pushing the boundaries of speed and precision, this technology paves the way for large-scale nano-3D printing and opens up a multitude of possibilities for various industries. We eagerly await the day when this game-changing technique becomes a reality in factories and transforms the world of manufacturing as we know it.

Title: Revolutionizing Manufacturing: The Incredible Shift Towards Extreme Manufacturing

Date: October 9, 2023

Over the past few years, the manufacturing industry has undergone a profound transformation. Driven by advancements in technology and an increasing need for efficiency, traditional manufacturing methods are gradually being replaced by a groundbreaking approach known as extreme manufacturing.

Extreme manufacturing, an emerging field in the world of manufacturing, focuses on producing high-quality products at unprecedented speeds. This revolutionary method leverages cutting-edge technology like 3D printing, automation, and artificial intelligence to revolutionize the production process.

In a recent study published by the International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing (IJEM), researchers delve into the incredible capabilities of extreme manufacturing. The study, titled “DOI: 10.1088/2631-7990/ace0a7,” highlights how this innovative approach is transforming the industry in ways we never thought possible.

The paper explores diverse aspects of extreme manufacturing, including its impact on speed, accuracy, and customization. By utilizing advanced production techniques like additive manufacturing, extreme manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping and reduced turnaround times. This means that companies can bring their products to market faster and respond quickly to changing demands.

Furthermore, extreme manufacturing promotes a high level of precision. By incorporating sophisticated sensors and control systems, manufacturers can achieve unparalleled accuracy in their production processes. Defects and errors are minimized, resulting in higher-quality products that meet or exceed customer expectations.

One of the most notable advantages of extreme manufacturing is its ability to offer personalized products on a mass scale. Traditional manufacturing methods often struggle with customization due to the constraints of mass production. However, extreme manufacturing employs techniques such as generative design, enabling manufacturers to tailor products to individual customer preferences without sacrificing efficiency.

While extreme manufacturing may seem like science fiction, these advancements are already making significant strides in various industries. Aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and consumer electronics are just a few sectors reaping the benefits of this approach. Companies have reported cost savings, improved productivity, and increased customer satisfaction, leading to an overall boost in competitiveness.

As we move forward into the era of extreme manufacturing, the potential applications and impact on various industries are boundless. From decentralized production to sustainable and resource-efficient manufacturing, this emerging field promises to reshape the way we produce goods.

In conclusion, extreme manufacturing represents a turning point in the manufacturing industry. With its ability to enhance speed, precision, and customization, this approach is pushing the boundaries of what seemed possible in the past. As manufacturers continue to embrace and explore the potential of extreme manufacturing, we can only anticipate further groundbreaking innovations that will shape the future of production.

Original source


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