It’s a known fact that 3D printing has become the ‘in’ technology of the modern world. The ability to convert a digital file into a physical object is amazing in itself. Now a new startup, Carbon3D, are using a chemical trick to speed up 3D printing.
Based in Redwood City, California, Carbon3D debuted a new technology this week at the TED2015 conference in Vancouver that can speed up existing 3D printing times by 25 to 100 times faster using a technology that they are calling Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP). This technology can compare to existing SLA 3D printers, works by balancing UV light and oxygen to grow objects from a pool of resin through a photo polymerization process.
“Current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionize manufacturing,” said Carbon3D co-founder and CEO Joseph DeSimone. “Our CLIP technology offers the game changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts.” DeSimone is a well-recognized chemist and polymer expert who already has a number of groundbreaking technologies under his belt.
The technology is being compared to the scene in 1991’s ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ when the villain recreates himself after being reduced to a puddle of liquid. This scene inspired DeSimone and the rest of the Carbon3D team to develop the technology. DeSimone demonstrated the printer by presenting a complex spherical device that is unable to be produced using traditional manufacturing methods including milling and injection molding-and would take hours to print on any existing 3D printer on the market. Currently, the machine is being tested in various companies including an automotive company, design studio, an academic research lab, and an athletic apparel company. DeSimone sees the technology being the most effective in the medical industry for being able to print in emergency rooms and dental offices that currently have to wait hours for objects to be printed. Once the company can refine the 3D printer, their next step is to start shipping it, however no cost or other machine specifications have been given at this time.