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This 3-D Printed Sculpture Is The Smallest Human Ever Depicted

The human figure in these photos is the smallest human likeness you’ve ever seen. In her real size, she’s about 80 microns by 100 microns–thinner than a hair, and tiny enough to fit on the head of an ant or to sit within the eye of a needle.

Jonty Hurwitz, the artist who created the sculpture, describes it as “the smallest creation of the human form in history.”

He started with a real life woman, Yifat Davidoff, who posed in front of 200 cameras. Those images were then fed into software that compiles a 3-D image. Then Hurwitz starts to 3-D print the model. That’s when it gets interesting. Rather than a standard MakerBot, he uses a technique called multiphoton lithography, which involves directing a laser beam onto a photosensitive material. The process builds the figure one 3-D pixel at a time, until something human-like emerges.

Hurwitz calls the sculpture “trust” because it requires a certain leap of faith to believe it exists at all. “The only way to perceive these works is on the screen of powerful scanning electron microscope,” he writes at his website. “Your only way to engage with it is through a screen, and a mouse separating you and the art via a vacuum and a series of mathematically mind-blowing quantum processes that shower the art with particles to map its contours.”

The art is both a technical feat of its own, and a vision of a nano-future when things are going to get smaller and smaller.

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