Cars come in all shapes and sizes. Based on what the consumer needs, there is certainly enough choice for you to find exactly what you want. One car however has been shrunken to a slightly smaller stature, perhaps to the point where it can’t really be used by anything other than an enzyme.
Called the Tato Nano it not only the cheapest but also the smallest vehicle on the planet, measuring in at 285 micrometres or a width of a human hair. However, the car developed by the Vienna University of Technology it isn’t so much a vehicle at all, in fact it’s simply a 3D print of one. If you haven’t been impressed by the technical capabilities of creating such a small car than perhaps knowing that the vehicle was created in just four minutes may convince you of this achievement.
Created using a very unique 3D laser based system, the contraption uses resin to make the shapes and is allowed to harden utilising a complex lasers system. Because of the size of the vehicle very small lasers had to be finely tuned in order to only absorb two photons at once. The reason for this was rooted in the special resin that needs the right beam proportions to harden. Not surprisingly the system has been called ‘two-photon lithography.'
Clearly this technology won’t be used to make small vehicles for flies around the world. Rather, engineers will be using the set up to create small biomedical parts. Similarly, the project could allow for doctors to building scaffolds that the cells could use in order to build new tissues. Similarly, the medical community suggested that it may be used in dental work as well as bone restructuring. Reporters at the Daily Mail have suggested that this technology has already been used to reconstruct an old women’s jaw.
Reporters at the BBC have noted that the technology was been well documented within the scientific arena but it was always held back by its speed. Now significantly improved, it may just revolutionize the entire industry. Indeed, scientists have noted that this speeds up the factor between 500 and 1,000 times.
This is of course not the first object to be scaled down. The team has also built rather petite versions of Tower Bridge as well as Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral. Certainly a gargantuan achievement, this technology may very well one day be used to save lives.