3D Printing Processes

UpNano introduces the Tilt Frame for maximizing precision

Substrate holders with tilt compensation for 2PP 3D printing of entire surfaces of wafers up to 4-inch

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A novel device allows the compensation of minuscule unevennesses in two-photon polymerization (2PP) 3D printing substrates whilst printing. UpNano GmbH (Austria) has introduced the so-called ‘Tilt Frame’, internationally. The frame can be fitted with chuck-holders for industrial standard wafers between 2 to 6-inches. In this way, 2PP 3D printing over entire surfaces of wafers up to 4-inches has become reality. The Tilt Frame (retro-)fits any of UpNano’s NanoOne series of laser-powered 2PP 3D printing systems that can build structures across 12 orders of magnitude at an unprecedented speed.

The NanoOne series can print structures at a nanometer resolution, as well as in the centimeter dimension. It has already been used in electronics, as well as in micro-optics, and for biocompatible applications in cell and medical research. In 2PP 3D printing – size matters. The larger the printed structure – the more the slightest unevenness of the print material will affect the precision of the final product.

UpNano introduces the Tilt Frame for maximizing precision. Substrate holders with tilt compensation for 2PP 3D printing.
The newly developped Tilt Frame helps to maximize the precision of the print result especially of large-scale structures.

UpNano GmbH has addressed this complication with the introduction of its Tilt Frame. The R&D department of the company, with premises in the USA and Austria, developed a tiltable frame that can correct an unevenness in the µm range. The Tilt Frame can be extended with various holders including a series of chuck-holders for up to 6-inch wafers. Even more importantly, the entire surface of wafers, up to 4-inch, is now accessible for 2PP 3D printing.

“By equipping any NanoOne printer with the Tilt Frame”, explained Denise Hirner, Head of Marketing and Business Development, and co-founder of UpNano, “one maximizes the precision of the print result, especially of large-scale structures.”

The Tilt Frame can be ordered separately and can be easily fitted to an existing NanoOne printer, or as a pre-installed accessory to any new NanoOne.

The frame allows for the correction of substrate differences in the µm range. Correction values are obtained by the NanoOne autofocus that takes height measurements at three points of the substrate. Based on these measurements, correction values are calculated. For the actual adjustment, there are two versions of the Tilt Frame available – a competitively priced manual version that uses highly precise correction screws, or an automatic version that uses software controlled precision motors for correction. The frame is compatible with all optics available for the NanoOne Series, namely the 5x, 10x, 20x, and 40x objectives.

UpNano introduces the Tilt Frame for maximizing precision. Substrate holders with tilt compensation for 2PP 3D printing.
Structure printed on the top of a glass fiber.

Whilst mounted on the NanoOne-standard long-range piezo stage with 120 x 100 x 40mm travel range, the Tilt Frame allows printing over one of the largest possible print areas of 2PP 3D printers on the market. Additionally, using the available chuck-holders, this area allows for, for the first time, 2PP 3D printing on the entire surface of industry standard 2-, 3-, or 4-inch wafers. On 6-inch wafers – an area of 50 x 70mm is available for printing.

“The NanoOne can print at a staggering writing speed of up to 1,000 mm/s and achieves a throughput of up to 200 mm³/h. This plus the newly achieved ability to print the entire surface of an industry-standard wafer of up to 4-inch makes series production with 2PP 3D-precision for the first time feasible,” commented Denise Hirner.

UpNano also added a fibre-holder, as well as a ferrule-holder to the Tilt Frame portfolio. By using these holders together with a printing material with optical properties from the UpNano portfolio, that has been optimized for the process, integrated optical systems can be positioned and manufactured with high precision on the tip of an optical fiber.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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