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Canadian University Purchases Microscopic 3D Printer

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[caption id="attachment_83134" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Scientists have used a new microscopic 3D printer to produce the world's smallest magazine cover, measuring 0.011 by 0.014 millimetres. The front of a recent edition of National Geographic Kids, featuring a pair of pandas, is so tiny that 2,000 of them could fit on a single grain of salt. Scientists have used a new microscopic 3D printer to produce the world's smallest magazine cover, measuring 0.011 by 0.014 millimetres. The front of a recent edition of National Geographic Kids, featuring a pair of pandas, is so tiny that 2,000 of them could fit on a single grain of salt.
[/caption]Montreal, Quebec - Under a joint partnership between the Canadian Government and McGill University, and a generous $11.3 million grant from the Canadian Foundation of Innovation, the university physics department's nanotechnology lab will be upgraded. Part of proceeds has already been used to purchase a $500,000 microscopic 3D imaging printer which recreates images on polymer surfaces. It is the same model printer which scientists used to create the world's an image which measured no more than 0.011 by 0.014 millimeters. The image was that of magazine cover of "National Geographic Kids". Put another way, the magazine cover could be placed on top of a single grain of salt and there would yet be room for 1,999 other equally sized magazine covers.

The printer features a quasi-print head that is a special heatable silicon chisel 100,000th the size of a sharp pencil tip. It may appear to be something that has limited use, but that would be an understatement. Researchers hope to use it for breakthroughs in nano-sized security tags, energy-efficient transistors in cellphones which would extend battery life, and even gain insights into the root cause of genetic diseases like Alzheimer’s. Despite the hefty half-million dollar price tag, the physics department says it was a bargain compared to other nanotechnology devices.

Source:
Microscopic 3D printer creates world’s smallest magazine cover
http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Canadian+researchers+laud+potential+applications/9775319/story.html

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