High throughput imaging of complex materials can be challenging, especially in situations that require the capture of repeatable topography maps and automatically interpreting features in the 3D image. To address this challenge, Nanotronics Imaging, a developer of technologically advanced nanoimaging systems, introduced its latest computer-controlled microscope, the nSPEC® 3D.
A radical departure from traditional laboratory instruments, the nSPEC® 3D was designed by renowned New York designers Mari Kussman and Francis Bitonti, who worked closely with the Nanotronics team to push the boundaries of both function and agility. The nSPEC 3D is among the first of its kind to view 3D printing as a viable production technology in the microscopy space.
The microscope combines high quality and imaging purity of optical lenses with advanced computer pattern recognition algorithms, custom 3D printed hardware, and artificial intelligence to capture nanoscale 3D images, including quantitative results and structure classification with a single mouse click or gesture.
Brooklyn based fashion and industrial designer Kussman developed the form factor of the instrument’s housing with Founder Michael Putman. Furthering the design’s collaboration was Francis Bitonti, a designer praised for his advances in 3D printing and new materials. He created a biomimetic pattern replicating the nSpec®3D’s nanoscale imagery by using an algorithm that ran for 24 hours.
To create the prototype of the nSpec®3D, Nanotronics used the largest commercially available printing bed, Shapeways’ EOS SLS Printer in Laser-sintered Nylon. The result was a 3D printed hood that measures 12 in. long, 21 in. wide, and 24 in. high.
The microscope uses a number of imaging techniques, available hardware advances and real time analysis to capture and deliver nanoscale insights in a way that is accessible, understandable and actionable at the fraction of the cost compared to alternative technologies.
Noted Nanotronics Imaging CEO Matthew Putman, “Our microscope allows a host of industries, including industrial materials, semiconductors, and even biopharmaceuticals, to access sophisticated imaging that can improve their ability to produce and manipulate advanced materials quickly and efficiently.”
Flow Polymers, a leading manufacturer of proprietary and custom chemical dispersions, process aids and homogenizing agents for tire, automotive, industrial products, wire and cable and plastics markets, has been an early user of the product for improving performance and ease of its of for chemical dispersions.
“For three decades, Flow Polymers has produced additives and rubber chemical dispersions to improve mix quality and compound properties,” said Michael Ivany, CEO of Flow Polymers. “We are excited by Nanotronics Imaging’s development of the nSPEC® 3D, as this instrument has the potential to help the industry optimize product performance, service life and uniformity. Until now we have not been able to identify an instrument that could adequately quantify the quality of mix.”