2PP: Everything You Need to Know

Nanoscribe Photonic Professional GT2

Explore the intricate world of Two Photon Polymerization (2PP) and how it compares to other 3D printing technologies like VPP, MSLA, DLS, and more.

by Editorial Staff: We are a team of 3D Printing Enthusiasts who have build a lot of knowledge about 3D Printing the last 8 years. Our aim is to create the knowledge hub for 3D Printing covering all minor and major topics. Providing one source of reliable Information for everybody regardless of Beginner or Expert.

Introduction to Two Photon Polymerization (2PP)

Two Photon Polymerization (2PP) represents a significant advancement in the realm of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. At its core, 2PP utilizes femtosecond laser pulses to create intricate structures at a microscopic level, offering unparalleled precision and detail.

Understanding the Basics of 2PP

What is Two Photon Polymerization?

Two Photon Polymerization is a 3D printing technique that employs high-intensity, ultra-short laser pulses to polymerize a photosensitive resin. Unlike traditional 3D printing methods, 2PP can fabricate structures with sub-micron resolution. This technology leverages the nonlinear two-photon absorption process, where two photons are absorbed simultaneously, triggering polymerization only at the laser’s focal point. This allows for extreme precision and complexity in the printed structures.

Nanoscribe Quantum X shape 2PP
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Comparisons with Other 3D Printing Technologies

VPP (Vat Photopolymerization)

Vat Photopolymerization, a broad category of resin-based 3D printing, includes several technologies like SLA and DLP. While VPP excels in creating high-detail parts, its resolution is limited compared to the sub-micron precision of 2PP.

MSLA (Masked Stereolithography)

MSLA uses an LCD screen to mask the light source, curing specific areas of the resin. While it’s faster than traditional SLA, MSLA cannot match the intricate detailing achievable with 2PP.

DLS (Digital Light Synthesis)

DLS, known for its speed and part strength, uses a digital light projector to cure resin. However, its layer-by-layer approach limits the complexity of designs compared to the continuous structures possible with 2PP.

DLP (Direct Light Projection) and SLA (Stereolithography)

Both DLP and SLA utilize a light source to cure resin. SLA uses a laser, while DLP uses a digital projector. While they offer high-quality prints, their resolution and detail level are not as refined as 2PP.

LMM (Lithography-based Metal Manufacturing)and LCM (Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing)

LMM and LCM are specialized for specific materials, like metals and ceramics. They offer unique material properties but lack the universal application and detailing capabilities of 2PP.

cDLM (Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing)

cDLM improves on traditional DLP by continuously curing the resin, leading to faster print times. Despite this, it cannot achieve the fine details and complex structures possible with 2PP.

HPS (Hybrid PhotoSynthesis) and LSPc (Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing)

HPS and LSPc are advancements in resin 3D printing, respectively. They push the boundaries in their material categories but still fall short in the extreme precision and micro-scale fabrication offered by 2PP.

Applications and Advancements of 2PP

2PP has found its niche in areas requiring extreme precision, like biomedical implants, microfluidics, and photonics. Its ability to create complex, three-dimensional structures at a micro-scale makes it invaluable in research and specialized industrial applications.

Future of 2PP in Additive Manufacturing

The future of 2PP is promising, with ongoing research focusing on improving its speed and scalability. As this technology matures, it may become more accessible for broader industrial applications, revolutionizing how we think about precision manufacturing.


What sets 2PP apart from other 3D printing technologies? 2PP offers unparalleled precision and detail, capable of creating structures at a sub-micron level.

Can 2PP be used for large-scale manufacturing? Currently, 2PP is best suited for specialized applications requiring high precision, though research is ongoing to increase its scalability.

What are the primary applications of 2PP? 2PP is widely used in biomedical, micro-optics, and microfluidics, where intricate detailing is crucial.

How does 2PP differ from SLA and DLP? Unlike SLA and DLP, which use a single photon process, 2PP uses two-photon absorption for higher resolution and complex structures.

Is 2PP commercially available for general use? 2PP is mainly used in research and specialized industrial sectors due to its complexity and cost.

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