13/03/2012 13:29 GMT | Updated 13/03/2012 13:36 GMT

Revolutionary 3D Printer Creates Nano-Scale Models In Seconds (PHOTOS) (VIDEO)

It might not be suitable to race at the Australian Grand Prix, but this racing car is a technical achievement worthy of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren.

It's also surprisingly fast, in its own way.

Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology have crated models of a racing car, St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna and London's Tower Bridge as small as a grain of sand (285 micrometers wide) in a fraction of the usual time.

The method used, known as two-photon lithography, in which tiny mirrors are moved to directe lasers over resin, which hardens on contact, isn't new, but the speed at which they work definitely is.

Their "world record" 3D printing machine is "orders of magnitude faster" than previous devices, and opens up the technique for use in medicine.

Researchers suggest that the technique can create "scaffolds" to use with living cells in making biological tissue. It can also make custom parts for nano-scale devices and tools

Professor Jürgen Stampfl said: "The printing speed used to be measured in millimeters per second – our device can do five meters in one second."

The team make the breakthrough by improving the control mechanism for the mirrors, and improving the resin used to make the structure.

Take a look at the pictures in the gallery below.