September 8, 2023

The world’s smallest drum

adam-smallestdrum Aaron Davis (left), a mechanical engineering PhD student, works in the lab alongside Georges Adam, a postdoctoral researcher in microrobotics. Purdue researchers are using a Nanoscribe Photonic Professional GT2 3D printer to pioneer new potential applications in using microscopic materials in medical treatments. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

New 3D printing technology is expanding horizons for microrobotics research on Purdue’s campus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Boilermakers everywhere already know that Purdue is home of the World’s Largest Drum.

But have you heard about the world’s smallest drum? It’s probably not going to get rolled out onto the field at Ross-Ade Stadium for any football games. Even if it were, you wouldn’t be able to see it.

That’s because small means small — about the width of a human hair. 

David Cappelleri, professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering (by courtesy), came up with the idea for the world’s smallest drum to test out the Nanoscribe Photonic Professional GT2 3D printer, which streamlines the production of microscopic materials while pioneering new potential applications in medical treatments. Housed at Birck Nanotechnology Center in Discovery Park District at Purdue, the printer is the first of its kind in operation in Indiana and was acquired with a financial award from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The printer is revolutionizing how Purdue microrobotics researchers engage with the field and vastly expanding the potential benefits of mobile microrobots.

Read more on The Persistent Pursuit website.

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Media contact: Brian Huchel,

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