micro parts to market... faster


12/26/12   Micro Engineering Solutions has expertise in micro machining, micro molding and micro assembly. Today we will focus on micro machining. Micro machining encompasses R&D for products, high production growth and mature products. Some of the components we have worked on in these categories include resorbable polymer implants, ophthalmic implants and lenses, suture devices, implantable clips, inkjet components and hearing aid components. We are capable of making a wall thickness down to 0.001″, surface features down to 0.0001″ and tip radius for sharp points on needles down to < 0.0007″.  You can learn more about our micro machining capabilities in this micro machining video.

Bio-Resorbable scaffold


12-17-12   Below is an article from SmallBizLabs.com that we as a small company found very interesting. Even though Micro Engineering Solutions doesn’t have a large number of employees, we bring great expertise to the table. Being small enables us to act quickly and turn things around in a timely manner. There is no red tape or large corporate protocol that has to be followed which may slow things down.  We start with a project and stay with it until it is complete, accurate, and done in the fastest time possible. Small companies have many advantages over large companies, one being flexibility. Please read the below article to see where small manufacturing companies are headed.

“U.S. manufacturing is on a roll.

The New York Times recently called manufacturing a “Surprising Bright Spot in the U.S. Economy”, the sector has added 330,00 jobs over the last two years, manufacturing economic indicators continue to rise and the President has made manufacturing the center of his economic policy.

The times are even more exciting for small (less than 100 employees) and micro (less than 5 employees) manufacturers. Most people don’t realize how many small manufacturers there are the U.S.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department, there are about 330,000 U.S. manufacturing firms. As the chart below shows, roughly 120,000 of these firms have 4 or fewer employees and over 80% have fewer than 50 employees.

But even this way understates the number of small manufacturing firms in the U.S. The chart data is based on traditional definitions of manufacturing and excludes the growing number of artisans, professional Makers and others who build or create physical goods.

The craft market place Etsy, for example, had over $500 million in sales in 2011 – $70 million in December alone. Etsy’s strategy going forward is create a business platform that will provide broader support to their thousands of business oriented artisans.

To see some examples of artisan manufacturing, watch one or more of the wonderful and inspiring Made by Hand videos or visit their online store.

The professional Maker market also continues to grow. Make Magazine’s Best of Maker Business 2011 provides an excellent summary of the business activities of these inventors and tinkerers.

The trends supporting the rise of small and micro manufacturing are powerful. One of the most important is a structural shift in how the U.S. manufacturing industry is organized.

Due in large part to foreign competition, U.S. manufacturing is no longer dominated by large companies and commodity manufacturing. Instead, U.S. manufacturing is increasingly done by a decentralized network of small, specialized firms. These firms rely on close customer relationships, automation, high productivity,valued added services and customized or specialized products to compete.

Other trends leading the the rise of small and micro manufacturing include:

– Shifts that are making U.S. manufacturing more cost competitive.

– New technologies like 3D printers that enable small and micro manufacturers.

– Increased demand for customized, specialized or niche products.

– The growing awareness of the hidden costs of manufacturing overseas.

As you can tell, we’re very optimistic about small manufacturing and expect the sector to continue to expand in the coming years.”


12/4/12     Checkout this interesting write-up by the Optical Society regarding a micro fabrication tool that can move microscopic particles- down to the cellular level!   The future looks fabulous when we can see the technology moving from our current top down methods of micro machining to bottom up methods such as described in this article. 

With the increasing demand for medical and pharmaceutical devices getting smaller and smaller with biomaterials getting more challenging to process, micro manufacturing tools and methods are constantly being researched by Micro Engineering Solutions as we to push this micro molding, micro machining, and micro assembly envelope.  Donna Bibber, MES


<Harnessing laser light’s ability to gently push and pull microscopic particles, researchers have created the fiber-optic equivalent of the world’s smallest wrench. This virtual tool can precisely twist and turn the tiniest of particles, from living cells and DNA to microscopic motors and dynamos used in biological and physical research.

This new twist on controlling the incredibly small, developed by physicists at The University of Texas at Arlington, will give scientists the ability to skillfully manipulate single cells for cancer research, twist and untwist individual strands of DNA, and perform many other functions where microscopic precision is essential. The authors describe their new technique, which they dub a fiber-optic spanner (the British term for a wrench), in a paper published today in the Optical Society’s (OSA) journal Optics Letters.






Principle of fiber-optic spanner comprised of transversely offset fibers. Credit: Optics Letters.


The innovation that distinguishes this technique from other optical tools is that it can, for the first time, spin or twist microscale objects in any direction and along any axis without moving any optical component. It’s able to do this because it uses flexible optical fibers rather than stationary lasers to do the work. This has the added benefit that the optical fibers can be positioned inside the human body, where they can manipulate and help study specific cells or potentially guide neurons in the spinal cord.

Rather than an actual physical device that wraps around a cell or other microscopic particle to apply rotational force, or torque, the fiber-optic spanner is created when two beams of laser light – emitted by a pair of optical fibers – strike opposite sides of the microscopic object.

Individual photons impart a virtually imperceptible bit of force when they strike an object, but an intense beam of laser light can create just enough power to gently rotate microscopic particles. “When photons of light strike and then get reflected back from an object, they give it a small push from an effect called scattering forces,” explains Samarendra Mohanty, assistant professor of physics at The University of Texas at Arlington and lead author of the study. This technique is already used to perform optical “tweezing,” which can move an object forward and backward along a straight line. “Optical tweezing is useful for biomedical and microfluidic research,” said Mohanty. “But it lacks the control and versatility of our fiber optic spanner, especially when it comes to working deep inside.”

In the team’s new optical spanner, the optical fibers use laser beams to first trap an object and then hold it in place. By slightly offsetting the optical fibers, the beams are able to impart a small twisting force, which causes the object to rotate in place. Depending on the positioning of the fibers, it is possible to create rotation along any axis and in any direction. This greatly enhances researchers’ ability to study and image cells and groups of cells for biological research and medical analysis.

In their research, Mohanty and graduate student Bryan Black used their new technique to rotate and shift human smooth muscle cells without damaging them. Demonstrating that the technique may have both clinical and laboratory uses.









Fiber-optically trapped and rotated human smooth muscle cell in the center of two transversely offset fibers (20 mW in each arm). Credit: Optics Letters.


For example, the spanner could rotate cells in a microfluidic analysis, image them with tomography, and then move them aside to allow the analysis of subsequent cells in the flow.

The technique could also be used to rotate single cells to determine by their spin if they are normal or cancerous. It could also help examine embryos to aid in in-vitro fertilization. It could mix or pump the fluids in lab-on-a-chip devices, or move and rotate micro-spheres attached to the opposite ends of a DNA strand to stretch and uncoil the molecule, allowing it to be sequenced more efficiently. In a follow-up paper to be published in Applied Physics Letters, Mohanty describes how this method can be used to rotate and fluorescently scan an object, which would reveal details about its chemical properties.

Non-medical macroscopic uses for the tool are also possible. “I envision applications in the direct conversion of solar energy to mechanical energy, rotating large, macroscopic objects using this technique,” Mohanty says. This would “simulate an environment in which photons radiated from the Sun could propel the reflective motors in solar sails, a promising future technology for deep-space travel.”>