Journal article

Three-dimensional microfabrication through a multimode optical fiber

3D printing based on additive manufacturing is an advanced manufacturing technique that allows the fabrication of arbitrary macroscopic and microscopic objects. Many 3D printing systems require large optical elements or nozzles in proximity to the built structure. This prevents their use in applications in which there is no direct access to the area where the objects have to be printed. Here, we demonstrate three-dimensional microfabrication based on two-photon polymerization (TPP) through an ultra-thin printing nozzle of 560 mu m in diameter. Using wavefront shaping, femtosecond infrared pulses are focused and scanned through a multimode optical fiber (MMF) inside a photoresist that polymerizes via two-photon absorption. We show the construction of arbitrary 3D structures built with voxels of diameters down to 400 nm on the other side of the fiber. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of microfabrication through a multimode optical fiber. The proposed printing nozzle can reach and manufacture micro-structures in otherwise inaccessible areas through small apertures. Our work represents a new area which we refer to as endofabrication. (C) 2017 Optical Society of America


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