Micro components continue to shrink in size, demanding ever-greater precision and improved handling of parts with sub-micron-sized features. New approaches in mi- cro machining technology include higher-precision systems from traditional micro machining developers, as well as techniques using additive manufacturing processes and semiconductor wafer-scale technology on the smallest of micro parts. With micro machining and molding techniques, manufacturers can create an as-
tounding array of extremely small parts for medical uses including catheters, surgi- cal tools, and implants made from a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, silicon and PEEK polymers. Micro components also increasingly power the latest high-tech devices with the small batteries, connectors, LEDs and IC chips found in smartphones and iPads, and some of the tiny devices being used in aerospace and defense applications by the military.
Some micro technologies approach the nano level with the latest additive manufacturing, micro machining and micro molding processes.
The MICA Freeform manufacturing process from Microfabrica combines aspects of both 3-D printing and semiconductor manufacturing and creates feature sizes to 20 µm.
“Te industry is definitely getting smaller and smaller, in terms of the size of the
component, and the precision of the components they require. We are approaching nano in feature size and tolerance, and the envelope is being pushed further in that