Northeastern 3-D printer next big thing using tiny particles
Boston Globe - 09/18/2014
The next big thing in three-dimensional printing is small — so small it’s practically two-dimensional.
A machine unveiled Wednesday by Northeastern University promises to speed up the manufacturing and drive down the cost of everything from consumer electronics to prescription drugs by printing in ultra-thin layers as minuscule as 20 nanometers. That’s 1,000 times thinner than layers produced by conventional 3-D printers and about 4,000 times narrower than a human hair.
Going small could help advance many industries, said Ahmed Busnaina, director of the university’s Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing. In medicine, for instance, drug particles that normally require injections because of their size could be shrunk and printed onto patches to be absorbed through the skin.