3D Printing on the Nanoscale

2022 ~ Present | National Science Foundation (NSF)


The goal of this team is to create and educational and low-cost nanoscale 3D printer for nanoscale additive manufacturing (AM) based on two-photon absorption (TPA). This will help create a tool that allows high-skills nanoscale three-dimensional (3D) printing to be as prolific as hobbyist 3D printing is today.

Issues Involved or Addressed

The field of nanoscale AM remains inaccessible to most of the K-12 and college-level students due to the prohibitively expensive equipment and the need for extensive hands-on training in process planning. To do this we will design, build, and test 1) a low-cost nanoscale 3D printer and 2) process simulators for nanoscale 3D printing based on computationally efficient models.


Methods and Technologies

  • Computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM)
  • Motion control for manufacturing equipment
  • Alignment of opto-mechanical systems
  • Two-photon lithography
  • Projection of patterned light sheets
  • Finite element simulations
  • Nanoscale imaging and metrology

Academic Majors of Interest

  • ComputingComputational Science and Engineering
  • ComputingComputer Science
  • EngineeringChemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • EngineeringElectrical Engineering
  • EngineeringMaterials Science and Engineering
  • EngineeringMechanical Engineering

Preferred Interests and Preparation

ME, MSE, EE, ChBE: Background/interest in 3D printing. Familiarity with CAD and prior experience in designing and building mechanical systems is encouraged but not required. Background/interest in finite element simulations or Fourier optics techniques is encouraged but not required. CS, CSE – Background/interest in finite element techniques or mobile app design. Curiosity about 3D printing. Programming skills encouraged but not required.

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Klaus 1440
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Sourabh Saha
  • Mechanical Engineering

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

National Science Foundation (NSF)