Tiny 3D printed Statue of Liberty is just 1.8mm high

January 20, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
A tiny 3D printed  Statute of Liberty is 1.8mm high
French microlithography specialist Microlight3D has 3D printed the world’s smallest version of the Statue of Liberty for the inauguration of US President Joe Biden later today.

The 3D printed statue measures 1.8mm tall by 0.6mm wide and is printed with the company’s latest Long-range Z process directly onto a one cent coin. This allows structures for optical micro-parts, meta-materials and medical devices up to 10mm high using photolithography, up from 0.3mm previously, on a variety of substrates from glass and silicon to metal. 

The choice of 3D model of course reflects the fact that the Statue was a gift from the French government to the US in 1886.

“Users will also be able to make alignments on a pre-existing pattern and print exactly where they want. We had great fun positioning the replica of the statue on the word ‘Liberty’ on a United States one-cent coin,” said Philippe Paliard, co-founder of Microlight3D.

“Researchers and industrial developers are looking to work on metallic or silicon wafers. Our enhanced 3Dmicroprinting system, compatible with a wide range of materials and substrates, will allow them to micro-fabricate structures they couldn’t before, to align the laser and print on the tip of optical fibres for micro-optics applications.”

Microlight3D printed the statue directly onto the coin to demonstrate that its technology is compatible with very different printing substrates, notably metallic and opaque substrates. The actual statue was made with OrmoGreen, a polymer doped with silica nanoparticles. This gives material glass-like properties such as rigidity and high chemical and thermal resistance and can make the taller structures with micrometric resolution.

The process uses two-photon polymerization, with a green pulsed laser operating at 532nm combined with ultra-precise moving stages. This creates 3D objects in a photoresist with sub-micron resolution. A simple solvent bath removes the unpolymerized resin.


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