Hyper Speed 2D And 3D Printing Coming Soon

Innovation November 25, 2016

Hyper speed, what does that mean in terms of printing? Think up to 1,000 times faster than any sort of current 2D or 3D printing technology you have ever witnessed, that’s the sort of speed that was only just recently proven possible. For the record, this is coming from none other than the widely acclaimed Penn State College of Engineering. Actually you can read all about the findings in the September issue of Nature’s Scientific Reports. Following is a brief overview of what this is all about.

It turns that that the University researchers discovered a rather unusual material that makes it possible to scan at very high speeds. For the record, this material is referred to as a space charge controlled KTN beam deflector. That is tech speak for an unusual crystal comprised of potassium tantalate as well as potassium niobate. The researchers found that utilizing this wonder crystal along with a rather outsized electro-optic effect, very high speed scanning is made possible.

To better understand exactly what this new research really means, it is important to understand the differences in magnitude now made possible. Start with the current off the shelf scanning speed commonly in use today. At even the highest end, this scanning speed occurs at the microsecond speed. As you probably know, a microsecond is the standard of time equal to one millionth of a second. In other words, rather fast, no matter how you look at it.

But hold on, take a look at what is now possible. According to the Penn State researchers, the new method outlined above means that nanosecond scanning is possible. What is a nanosecond? A nanosecond is one billionth of a second. You can readily understand that is on a whole different playing field. That means 3 whole orders of magnitude faster (a billion is 1,000 millions or 3 additional orders of magnitude).

As you might well imagine, the implications of the Penn State discovery are quite profound. From rapid scanning applications in the medical industry to 2D and 3D printing. That means that a 20,000 page text could be printed in a mere 60 seconds. Or a object printed with current 3D printing technology that now takes an hour or so could be reduced to mere seconds.

Bottom line: the Penn State researcher’s discovery will undoubtedly have profound effects going forward. Watch for more on this topic as word spreads on this new technology.

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