German start-up Nanoscribe is commercialized a 3D "micro printer" that uses a near-infrared laser to print tiny structures with features as small as 30 nanometers. (A human hair is roughly 50,000 - 100,000 nanometers wide.) The device uses an infra-red laser beam moving in three dimensions to solidify a light-sensitive material into the desired shape. The additive manufacturing system, much faster than existing technology, could be used to "print" the components of medical devices, electromechanical systems, and, er, robot models that would fit on the head of a pin. "Micro 3-D Printer Creates Tiny Structures in Seconds" (Technology Review, thanks Anthony Townsend!)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.