Carbon3D’s new tech prints 25 to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printers


California-based startup Carbon3D has developed a new 3D printing technique which it claims works 25 to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing techniques used today.

3D printers currently use Stereolithography (SLA) technology to print out objects, where a laser or projector cures a photosensitive resin and slowly prints and builds each layer of the object until it is completed.

The new 3D printing technology developed by the Silicon Valley startup, called Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), manipulates light and oxygen to fuse objects in liquid media. Using the new technology, objects are grown out of a pool of resin using both light and oxygen, rather than being printed layer by layer. This continuous curing process speeds up 3D print times and creates smother objects that are just as strong as conventional 3D-printed items.

“Current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionise manufacturing,” said Carbon3D’s CEO and co-founder Dr Joseph DeSimone.

“Our CLIP technology offers the game-changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts.”

DeSimone said his team was inspired by the scene in Terminator 2 in which the villain robot rises out of fluid metal.

“We were inspired by the Terminator 2 scene for the T-1000,” DeSimone said.

“Why couldn’t you have an object rise out of a puddle in real time with essentially no waste?”

Carbon3D announced the new technology on 16 March at the TED 2015 conference in Vancouver, Canada.

The research behind the new 3D printing method, entitled “Continuous liquid interface production of 3D objects” has been published in the journal Science.