World's First Rapid 3D Nanoscale Printer

Melbourne's RMIT University is getting ready for what it calls the world's first rapid 3D nanoscale printer.

(MicroNano Research Facility CGI walkthrough video)

The new MicroNano Research Facility (MNRF) was launched at the university's city campus in Melbourne's CBD by vice-chancellor and president Margaret Gardner, who said the opening of the new laboratories and clean rooms is the start of an exciting new chapter in cross-disciplinary nano research.

"At the heart of the MicroNano Research Facility's mission is bringing together disparate disciplines to enable internationally leading research activity," said Gardner. "RMIT has long been a pioneer in this field, opening Australia's first academic clean rooms at the Microelectronics and Materials Technology Centre in 1983.

Director of the MNRF James Friend said that 10 research teams would work at the new facility on a broad range of projects, including the development of energy harvesting techniques that change the way batteries are recharged, and the building of miniaturised motors to retrieve blood clots from deep within the brain.

"This facility is all about ensuring researchers have the freedom to imagine and safely realise the impossible at tiny scales and beyond," said Friend, who is also a vice-chancellor's senior research fellow in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Science fiction writers led the way in thinking of micro scale and nanoscale manufacturing long before scientists. In his 1955 short story nanofac, Philip K. Dick describes manufacturing at the smallest possible scale.

Even earlier, in his 1937 story A Menace in Miniature, Raymond Z. Gallun clearly describes atomic-level manufacturing techniques; read about his micro robot.

Via Zdnet and MicroNano Research Facility (MNRF) .

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