Random thoughts

A Model Race Car 1/1000th the Width of a Human Hair

Clipped from Metro Newspaper in Toronto -- thanks!


This car is a replica of a high speed racing car that is smaller than a grain of sand. It was made using high speed 3d printing, a subject I have raved about previously on this blog. But the news is not that a 3D printer could print a three dimensional replica of a race car — that’s old hat, yesterday’s technology, if you’re not up on 3D printing you’re spending too much time on Facebook and too little time paying attention to the world around you. The news is also not that a 3D printer could print something that is made of only a few molecules, at a nano-level — that, too is old hat and if it surprises you, you’ve probably been spending too much time reading Vanity Fair. The news is that the 3D nano printer using the two-photon lithography process, can print five meters of this stuff per second. This is, apparently, much faster than ever before. It took about 5 minutes to print this car, and you can watch it in all it’s amazing detail by clicking here — however, given the car is constructed pretty much at a molecular level, it is not particularly entertaining to watch (for the first 2 minutes nothing much happens at all).

So why do we care? Because they can, and if they can, they will, and if they do they can, and will, change the world we live in: molecule by molecule, photon by photon. These are the real change agents that we should be paying attention to.


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