The castle on a pencil tip

When we talked about high-resolution 3D printing, one question came up repeatedly: how does UpNano define high resolution?

At TU Wien we have developed a simple and vivid answer to that:


Take a pencil


Sharpen it


And 3D print a castle on its tip


With UpNano's high-resolution printing system NanoOne you can print your own castle on a pencil tip. The system achieves a spatial resolution down to a nanometer level.

The two towers of the castle fascinate at first sight

The pillars of the right spire have a diameter of 950 nm and are thus a 100 times thinner than a human hair. Hard to believe, but despite this fineness the pillars are perfectly straight and fulfil their weight-bearing function.

You will only believe it when you have seen it

The mini-castle has a dimension of 230x250x360 µm and was printed in less than six minutes. Have a look at the YouTube video explaining the fabrication of the castle by 2-photon lithography.


Winner of Wiki Science Competition

A picture of the 3D printed castle in nanoscale was awarded first prize in the 2017 Wiki Science Competition in Austria.

From the sketch to implementation

The design of the castle on a pencil tip was created by Daniela Mitterberger and Tiziano Derme from the design studio MäID in Graz. Their ambition was to reinterpret the Sutyagin House in nanoscale – the residence of the local crime lord Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin and his family in Arkhangelsk, Russia. The 44-meter-tall building was considered the highest wooden building in the world, or at least in Russia. The building was declared a fire hazard, and following a court order the house was demolished in 2008.