SMEs which manufacture high-tech equipment could get a boost after new nanotechnologies were reported that a joint project between businesses and universities has developed a machine tool capable of attaining 50nm accuracy with staggering 5nm repeatability.The machines can be used to manufacture items which require extremely precise components. These include lubrication designs which allow oil to be directed to tiny surfaces using accurate microgrooves, and miniature filters for blood testing kits which use micropores that have to be laser-machined to ensure their accuracy.Andy Joslin of Delta Tau, one of the companies involved in the development of the new machines, explained that the project was "focused on developing multiaxis machine tools able to produce complex 3D geometries to nanoscale tolerances".Previously these machines were incredibly expensive and large, but it is hoped that the new machines will be a tenth of the cost and size of previous tools. This would mean that high-tech manufacturing SMEs would be able to purchase equipment previously only available to larger companies.© Adfero Ltd

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