Exploring Trio Labs’ Innovative Microscopic Metal 3D Printing Technology


Trio Labs is a U.S. enterprise that has developed a metal additive manufacturing method with the capability of creating components on a microscopic level. Tagged Resin Infused Powder Lithography, it boasts of a 5-micron resolution, enabling it to design exceptionally refined and accurate parts. Its primary application is in the healthcare sector, where customization is imperative. We spoke with founder and CEO Adam Steege, to gain further insight into how this technology functions and the promise it presents.

3DN: Could you give a brief introduction about yourself and your involvement with 3D printing?

I launched my maiden company in 2010 with the primary intent to develop advanced laparoscopic surgical instrumentation. To achieve this, we banked on 3D printing along with CNC and casting procedures. Additionally, in my decade-long consulting experience, I orchestrated the development of medical devices, deploying processes like stamping and molding. Understanding the limitations of 3D printing, especially metal printing (such as subpar surface quality, unsatisfactory tolerances), prompted me to initiate Trio Labs to address these issues.

3DN: What is Trio Labs’ mission?

Trio Labs has developed a technology known as Resin Infused Powder Lithography (RIPL). This process combines the precision of CNC machining with the versatility of 3D printing. Our primary focus is on healthcare applications, due to the high demand for the parts our technology can produce in the minimally invasive surgical and interventional catheter sectors. More widely, there’s a constant drive towards miniaturization in many sectors, which we aim to support wherever possible.

3DN: What are the special features of your micro-scale metal additive manufacturing technology? How did you achieve such precision?

RIPL technology can print metal parts at a resolution of 5 microns, which is approximately 10 times more precise than standard metal 3D printing. This level of precision is scalable to high volume production, which is unachievable with any other micro metal printing process. The quality of the parts we produce, in terms of surface finish, tolerances, and mechanical properties, is truly exceptional. We’ve accomplished this by reimagining several key areas of the printing process to create ultra-high-quality green parts for sintering. This, combined with high throughput and high-quality sintering processes, yields results that our customers often describe as the best they’ve seen from a 3D printing process.

3DN: What are the main advantages of additive manufacturing for Trio Labs?

By providing a digital manufacturing technology to our customers that matches their needs for precision and quality, and is scalable from 10 parts, to 100,000 parts and beyond, we are offering a faster and more efficient path to commercializing their new devices, while also opening up design opportunities that did not exist before. They can fully take advantage of the digital flexibility of 3D printing, without having to worry about qualifying a different process for production.

The technology allows for very precise resolutions

3DN: How do you see the continued role of 3D Printing in healthcare?

I believe there are myriad ways in which 3D Printing can greatly influence healthcare, some of which are already being put into practice. The capability to devise solutions that are specific to patients is currently employed in the production of tailored surgical guides and orthopedic implants. Beyond that, I envision substantial opportunities in addressing areas where there is an advantage in being able to function at varying levels of scale smoothly. Suitable 3D printing technology enables the manufacture of a single part as effortlessly as one million, a form of adaptability that is absolutely crucial in a setting like healthcare, where there is a diverse mix of highly differentiated devices.

3DN: What are the main difficulties you have encountered in your work?

The most significant problem we encounter is the built-up fatigue that many engineers have towards other 3D printing procedures. They’re accustomed to subpar quality parts that don’t fulfill mechanical specifications, and material properties that don’t align with specification sheets. Concurrently, this challenge presents as our biggest opportunity. In all situations, we’ve supplied parts to clients that have surpassed expectations, contributing immensely towards fostering trust and encouraging engineers to reassess what’s achievable with 3D printing.

3DN: Any final words for our readers?

If you have a project requiring micro-scale metal components, visit our website HERE.

What do you think of the technology developed by Trio Labs? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

Original source


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