The use of 3D femtosecond laser printing in industrial research and development (R&D) is a relatively new and emerging field that involves the use of 3D printing technology to create highly detailed and complex prototypes and models using femtosecond lasers. This technology is being used to test the performance of new designs, materials, and products, as well as to create functional prototypes for testing and evaluation. The use of femtosecond lasers allows for the creation of highly precise and intricate structures, which can improve the accuracy of prototypes and models. Additionally, 3D femtosecond laser printing can be used to produce large quantities of prototypes and models quickly and efficiently, making it a valuable tool for industrial R&D teams.
3D laser lithography is a suitable technology for the production of high-precision micromechanical components, an example being the single-helix three-turn 3D meso-spring for micro-mechanical applications.
The Geneva gear is an arbitrary-shaped micromechanical component and is one of the most used devices for producing intermittent rotary motion.
Threads for Screws
The SLE technology permits straightforward conversion of the desired CAD design to a 3D micropart. Even mm-size structures with a few micrometers of precision can be printed in this way.
3D Glass Structures
Selective laser etching (SLE) technology enables the fabrication of true 3D glass structures with complex architecture, for instance, fullerene molecule‑like structures.
Squares with rounded corners in a polymer. The pitch between the holes is substantially smaller than the size of the hole. Spaces are thin and straight, ablation edges are clear, and there is minimal thermal influence.
3D Chain-Mail Structure
Standard 3D printing does not enables printing of movable structures. These structures can be fabricated inside a gel or liquid monomer by using the multiphoton polymerization technique which makes support‑free 3D printing possible.
3D Structures on Fiber Tip
The microlens with a diameter of 50 µm is fabricated on top of the fiber. The 3D supports ensure a required 250 µm distance between the fiber tip and the lens.
The multiphoton polymerization technique enables the production of arbitrary shaped 3D structures from various polymers. The single linewidth of the woodpile photonic crystal shown in the illustration is lower than 200 nm.
Femtosecond microfabrication in micromechanics applications uses techniques like multiphoton polymerization and selective laser etching to produce flexible and high-precision 3D structures. These structures, made of materials like polymers and ceramics, can be used in various fields like micromechanics and microrobotics and are ideal for applications that require movable assembly-free components.
Filters, Flow Moulders
Femtosecond laser micro-drilling is precise and produces minimal heat, making it useful for drilling filters, nozzles, and tools in materials such as metals, ceramics, polymers, and glass. It’s also useful for making cuts in materials without leaving debris.
Multi-photon polymerization (MPP) enables the production of precise and strong microlenses and microneedles for visualization, filtering, and drug delivery. MPP can also be combined with other fabrication techniques such as selective laser etching to create hybrid microfabricated systems, like glass and polymer structures.
Microfabrication by multi-photon polymerization is a direct laser-write technique which allows 3D structuring of photopolymers at the micro- and nano-scale.
Selective Laser Etching
Selective laser etching (SLE) is a subtractive laser technology allowing fabrication of complex-shape 3D glass parts with micrometer precision.
Multiphoton-polymerization (MPP) is a technology that enables the production of arbitrary shape polymeric structures within submicrometric resolution. First, a photoresist sample is prepared by drop-casting polymer material mixed with a photoinitiator on the glass slide and then pre-baking.
A feasibility study is composed of several steps, including researching methods for fabricating micro-structures, fabricating a micro-structure prototype, measuring and aligning the prototype with technical requirements, and finally preparing a study report.