5-speed listening (Miniaturization - Level 6)

Microscopic handbag sells for $63,000



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Miniaturization has been a pursuit of engineers and designers for decades. The trend to manufacture ever smaller products and devices has seen pocket-sized computers, mobile phones and motorbikes the size of a backpack. The latest thing to be downsized is a miniature handbag that is so small it can only be seen with the aid of a microscope. The New York-based art collective MSCHF has created a microscopic Louis Vuitton-inspired handbag. The makers say their creation is "smaller than a grain of sea salt and narrow enough to pass through the eye of a needle". It measures 657 by 222 by 700 micrometres. It has also just been sold for $63,750 at an online auction.

The neon-green miniature was made using a high-tech manufacturing technique called two-photon polymerization. This technology uses 3D printers to make mechanical biotech components and devices like microfilters and micropumps. MSCHF utilized the technology to see how small they could make a handbag. Chief creative officer Kevin Wiesner told the New York Times that he had not asked Louis Vuitton for permission to use its logo on the handbag. He said: "We are big in the 'ask for forgiveness, not permission' school of thought." He added: "I think the bag is a funny object because it derives from something rigorously functional, but it has basically become jewellery."

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Miniaturization - Level 4  |  Miniaturization - Level 5

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