engineering careers  3D printing a castle on the nib of a pencil
engineering careers  3D printing a castle on the nib of a pencil

A team of Engineers from TU Wien have demonstrated a new 3D printing technique that allows them to print a nano scales. This mind-blowing video shows a castle being printed on the nib of a pencil.

The technique uses Multiphoton Lithography – an umbrella term used to refer to 3D printing methods relying on “photochemical reactions” triggered by multiphoton absorption.(MPA). Essentially blasting materials with a laser.

The team used MPA technique called 3D laser lithography to create the complex microscopic model. The multiphoton absorption properties of the material means they are able to create very complex 3D structures with a “spatial resolution” down to a 100nm. To put that in perspective – a human hair is 100,000nm thick.

This most recent effort demonstrates the capabilities of MPL – the completed tiny castle measured just 230 µm x 250 µm x 360 µm and was carved directly on a tip of the pencil.

Its design was developed in cooperation with Daniela Mitterberger and Tiziano Derme (MäID – FutureRetrospectiveNarrative).


The team behind the technique is made up of mechanical engineers, materials scientists and chemists, headed by Prof. Liska and Prof. Stampfl. The team have pioneered research in lithography-based Additive Manufacturing Technologies (3D-printing).

Their research does not just focus on materials; instead, they look at the complete process of 3D printing from the polymers used to system design.

The TU Wien is one of the major universities in Vienna.

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