Carbon3D may have completely revolutionized the rapidly growing scope of 3D printing technology with its Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology, which produces solid final parts out of resin 25 to 100 times faster than current technology.
CLIP technology uses finely tuned light and oxygen to continuously grow objects from a pool of resin, rather than creating them layer by layer. Carbon3D CEO and co-founder Joseph DeSimone demonstrated the machine at the recent TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where it printed a plastic ball in 10 minutes. “It would traditionally take up to 10 hours to print this,” DeSimone told the audience. “There are mushrooms that grow faster than some 3D-printed parts.”
CLIP technology works by balancing the interaction of UV light, which hardens the resin, and oxygen, which inhibits hardening. The company says this method produces commercial-quality objects with consistent mechanical results from a range of polymeric materials. Carbon3D estimates that it accelerates printing by 25 to 100 times, with the potential to be 1,000 times faster.
“We think that popular 3D printing is actually misnamed—it’s really just 2D printing over and over again,” DeSimone told the Washington Post. “The strides in that area have mostly been driven by mechanical engineers. We’re two chemists and a physicist, so we came with a different perspective.”
Carbon3D has secured $41 million in funding from venture capital firms, and several printers are being tested in the field by an auto maker and athletic apparel company. Stents and false teeth printed while you wait are among the medical applications the inventors envision. They say the printer may be commercially available within a year.
Watch the video below to see the technology at work: