Menu
Callaghan Innovation micro-fabrication unit unveils printing tech at tiny scale

Callaghan Innovation micro-fabrication unit unveils printing tech at tiny scale

Technology allows printing of sub-millimetre structures with complex geometries

Co-inventors Andrea Bubendorfer and Andrew Best at work

Co-inventors Andrea Bubendorfer and Andrew Best at work

Callaghan Innovation unveiled a new 3D printing technology that enables rapid prototyping of high-resolution micro-scale structures.

Laminated resin printing, or LRP, makes it fast, easy and affordable to create a wide range of printed structures for applications such as electronics, wearables, sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, among other applications.

Callaghan's MicroMaker3D team is one of ten exhibitors selected for IDTechEx’s Santa Clara Launchpad,  showcasing new and disruptive technologies.

LRP allows developers to print sub-millimetre structures with complex geometries of up to 100 per cent density, in low-layer thicknesses and with imaging speeds as quick as one second a layer independent of complexity or density, Callaghan said.

“Microfabrication – the production of very small high-value devices – is an export industry for New Zealand. Until now, however, making these miniature structures has been slow and expensive,” co-inventor Andrea Bubendorfer said.

In contrast, 3D printing can’t operate on the small scale needed for microfabrication.

"We set out to develop ways to make microfabrication more accessible and are proud to have created a new technology that addresses the significant need for rapid prototyping on the micro-scale," Bubendorfer said.

By small, she is talking five microns, smaller than the human eye can see. A human hair is about 100 microns.

Co-inventors Bubendorfer and Andrew Best developed patent pending LRP to rapidly prototype miniaturised structures from optical slits to miniaturised micro-well plates, micro-moulds and more.

“Custom sensors are a great example of a niche area we’re keen to explore," said Bubendorfer. "One high value approach would be to use molecular sensing to functionalise microstructures, so we could rapid prototype devices for detecting insulin concentration, biomarkers, presence of toxic gases or pollutants."

The team received support from KiwiNet through funding, programmes, and advice; engineering expertise provided by the Mechatronics Engineers at the Massey University Centre for Additive Manufacturing and the Callaghan Innovation advanced engineering team.

Furthermore, the team also received "advice and encouragement' from Johan Potgieter, professor of robotics and expert in additive manufacturing at Massey University as well as Olaf Diegel, professor of product development and 3D printing expert at Lund University.

The project has attracted a further $684,000 of pre-seed funding from KiwiNet and has had strong Callaghan Innovation support, as well as other investment interest.

“There are strong drivers for miniaturisation as smaller devices use less resources, and less power, and are lighter and faster," said Dr James Hutchinson, CEO of KiwiNet.

"With the emerging Internet of Things, the ability to 3D print microstructures for tiny sensors will open up a huge new avenue of commercial possibilities.”

MicroMaker3D project co-leader and microfabrication manager at Callaghan Innovation Andrew Best said microfabrication represents a great opportunity for New Zealand and exporters worldwide because the value of the goods is extremely high, in a tiny form factor.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags 3d printingCallaghan InnovationKiwiNetmicroscalelaminated resin printing

Events

Why experience is the new battleground for partners

Join us for an exclusive webinar, in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) and learn about the latest industry insights and how technology services continue to evolve to deliver differentiated value, and how partners can be successful in 2021 and beyond.

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments