French company Microlight3D, in collaboration with artist Michel Paysant, has created the world's tiniest sculpture measuring 80 microns (0.08 millimeters) in height, with details invisible to the naked eye. Paysant's work, which combines arts with new technologies, was previously exhibited at the Louvre.
The idea stemmed from Paysant himself, who scanned his own head in 3D. Microlight3D then reproduced it on the micrometric scale and printed the sculpture. The process required printing at a resolution of 0.2 microns (0.0002 millimeters), which would only be possible by using a microscope. The finished product is approximately the size of an ant's eye.
Microlight3D has been marketing a new generation of ultra-high resolution 3D printers since January 2017. The company's 15 years of research on two-photon polymerization at the Université Grenoble Alpes lead to a great deal of expertise in 3D microprinting and applications.
The micro-sculpture is available for viewing at the FRAC-Artothèque du Limousin from June 27 to November 3. For this particular exhibition, Microlight3D has added a thin layer of gold (100nm) to the surface of the sculpture. To appreciate the tiny artwork, a microscope will be available for public use.