Press Release

Tiny 3D-printed gift for Chinese President

November 19, 2015

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Micro-objects were produced by means of a Nanoscribe 3D printer at Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College London


During his visit of the Hamlyn Centre at Imperial College London, the Chinese president Xi Jinping was very fascinated by tiny objects produced by means of a Nanoscribe 3D-printer. 

The researchers showed the President three-dimensional objects narrower than a human hair. He and the Duke of York, who was also visiting the college, were presented with tiny gifts demonstrating the outstanding capabilities the high-tech 3D printers. While Xi Jingping could take home a section of the Chinese Great Wall on the micrometer scale, Prince Andrew got a panda leaping over a bamboo that was printed to the tip of a needle. “The height of the panda is approximately 50 micrometers, or half the width of a human hair”, explained Maura Power, a PhD student supervised by Professor Yang at Hamlyn Centre.

image.pngNanoscribe ChineseGreatWall ImpCollegeLondon.jpg
Nanoscribe Panda ImpCollegeLondon.jpg


The underlying cutting-edge technique of this 3D printing process is called two-photon polymerization (2PP). It allows the researchers at Hamlyn Centre to develop previously impossible medical therapies and devices, e.g. swimming microrobots for targeted drug delivery as well as ultra-small instruments for microsurgery.

You can watch a movie of the printing process of the tiny Chinese Great Wall here: Imperial College London - Great Wall Printing Process

Also read the complete story of the Chinese president’s visit: Imperial College London - New 3D printing tech empowers surgeons at a nano scale


Nanoscribe GmbH is the world technology and market leader in 3D printing on the nano-, micro-, and mesoscale. Its high performance 3D printers are based on two-photon polymerization and are used in research and industry. The portfolio is complemented by tailor-made photoresists andprocess solutions. The efficiency of the trailblazing Photonic Professional GT system was highlighted in February 2014 by the bestowal of the Prism Award in San Francisco in the category of “Advanced Manufacturing.” This year, Nanoscribe was one of three finalists at the “Deutscher Gründerpreis” in the category “Aufsteiger”. Hence the company represents one of the most successful young companies of the last few years in Germany. In 2007, Nanoscribe was the first spin-off to emerge from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Section of the Chinese Great Wall on the micrometer scale printed with a Nanoscribe system at The Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College London.
Panda leaping over a bamboo printed to the tip of a needle. Img: Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College London.