Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

3D printing gets bigger, faster and stronger

HARP in action as it vertically and continuously prints a large 3D object.

A resin printer from Chad Mirkin’s lab at Northwestern University in Illinois can create structures as large as a person in hours (image sequence sped up). Credit: Northwestern University

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Nature 578, 20-23 (2020)


Updates & Corrections

  • Correction 07 February 2020: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that Relativity Space intended to do a test launch this year, and misstated the timeline for the development of the printing technique that forms a 3D object in a spinning resin.


  1. Walker, D. A., Hedrick, J. L. & Mirkin, C. A. Science 366, 360–364 (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Hull, C. W. Apparatus for production of three-dimensional objects by stereolithography. US patent 4575330A (1984).

  3. Tumbleston, J. R. et al. Science 347, 1349–1352 (2015).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. de Beer, M. P. et al. Sci. Adv. 5, eaau8723 (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Kelly, B. E. et al. Science 363, 1075–1079 (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Loterie, D., Deirot, P. & Moser, C. Preprint at ResearchGate (2018).

  7. Wang, Y. M. et al. Nature Mater. 17, 63–71 (2018).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Zhang, D. et al. Nature 576, 91–95 (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Chen, T., Bilal, O. R., Shea, K. & Daraio, C. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 115, 5698–5702 (2018).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Jackson, J. A. et al. Sci. Adv. 4, eaau6419 (2018).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. de Marco, C. et al. Adv. Mater. Technol. 4, 1900332 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Skylar-Scott, M. A., Mueller, J., Visser, C. W. & Lewis, J. A. Nature 575, 330–335 (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Roach, J. D. et al. Add. Manuf. 29, 100819 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


Latest on:

Nature Careers


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links