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Science & Technology

Real-life 'shrink ray' can reduce 3D structures

December 16, 2018 | Comment icon 10 comments



The new technique is a big improvement over conventional methods. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 CSIRO
Scientists have discovered a way to reduce 3D objects to a mere one thousandth of their original size.
The research, which was carried out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, makes it possible to produce nanoscopic structures of almost any shape.

The technique involves first creating the desired structure by patterning a polymer scaffold with a laser, then shrinking it down using a process known as implosion fabrication.

"It's a way of putting nearly any kind of material into a 3D pattern with nanoscale precision," said biological engineering and nanotechnology scientist Professor Edward Boyden.
The method is a big improvement over 3D nanoscale printing because it can be achieved without specialized materials using equipment that many laboratories will already have.

Eventually, it will be possible to use this technique to create everything from high-end camera lenses to tiny nanoscopic robots that can swim through the human bloodstream and cure diseases.

"There are all kinds of things you can do with this," said Boyden.

"Democratizing nanofabrication could open up frontiers we can't yet imagine."


Source: MIT.edu | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
Oh no ...
Comment icon #2 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
Did they changethe date from 1. April to 15. December?
Comment icon #3 Posted by joc 4 years ago
I imagine Nanobots injected into the bloodstream...finding their way to the heart and clearing out plague from the arteries...then taking that plague straight to the intestine where it would become part of the waste water treatment plant. I also can imagine nanobots finding their way to tumors...removing all of the cancerous cells....or treating paralysis by reconnecting severed nerve connections.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Silver Surfer 4 years ago
Honey I shrunk the... Oh nuts!!
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 4 years ago
If the world really gets over crowded, we might be able to find a way to shrink every living creature. This way the world becomes empty again and raw materials needs become reduces. I know it's crazy, but think about it. If aliens do show, we don't know how big they will be. We should also be able to be able to return to a normal size if needed.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Hawken 4 years ago
That's nothing. I can shrink a hamburger in the skillet...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
I think we have a long way togo they are only making itty bitty replications of shapes.
Comment icon #8 Posted by joc 4 years ago
It is the 'itty bitty' replications that are so fascinating. The potential for mass produced nanobots for medicine is almost limitless. We could literally end disease as we know it. It is going to revolutionize the nanobot industry. From self cleaning windows to cars that never get dirty...I'm a big fan!
Comment icon #9 Posted by moonman 4 years ago
Cool and useful, but a far cry from actually shrinking an existing object. Not the same thing at all.
Comment icon #10 Posted by moonman 4 years ago
You saw that movie too, huh


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