Lasers 3D-print tiny starfighter in 50 seconds flat

Without easy access to a subspace compression anomaly, we're stuck looking ways to make tiny spaceships that are less dependent on temperamental astronomical phenomena. A company called Nanoscribe has a new laser lithography system that can blast out 3D objects with impressively small features (we're talking micrometer and nanometer scale) in minutes instead of hours. This ship can't quite fly, but it looks like it can, and that's what's important.

Compare it to the original, a Hellcat from Wing Commander:

The laser lithography system is of course capable of printing out things besides tiny spaceships, although why you'd want to waste your time making anything else is beyond me. It works by using rapidly spinning mirrors to deflect a scanning laser beam into a photosensitive liquid polymer. The laser hardens the polymer into a solid, and by building up successive layers, you end up with a 3D structure. You can watch the process happen in real-time in the video below, going from zero to spaceship in 50 seconds flat.

Nanoscribe, via KIT

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