Big, complex puzzles get all the attention, but doesn’t the other end of the spectrum deserve a little love? Take the smallest jigsaw puzzle in the world, for example. It’s not that complicated to put together, but only if you’ve got a magnifying glass and one hell of a fine touch.
Created by researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the tiny puzzle has just three injection-moulded pieces, each less than 1mm in size thanks to a new moulding process called LIGA2.X. Normally, when things this small are moulded, they have to be attached to a substrate and then painstakingly removed, which is expensive and annoying. LIGA2.X lets them just pop out of the mould, no problem.
The process should make it way cheaper and way easier to injection-mould tiny, tiny parts for everything from watches to engines to medical devices in the future. But for the time being, this puny little puzzle is a nice proof of concept. Just whatever you do, don’t drop any of those pieces on the floor. [PhysOrg]