Revolutionary 3D Printing Technology Makes Ready-to-Use Products Up to 100 Times Faster
A 3D printing technology developed by Redwood City, CA-based startup Carbon3D Inc. enables objects to rise from a liquid media continuously, rather than being built layer by layer as they have been for the past 25 years, which represents a fundamentally new approach to 3D printing. Joseph M. DeSimone, professor of chemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is currently CEO of Carbon3D, where he co-invented the method with chief technology officer Alex Ermoshkin and Edward T. Samulski, also professor of chemistry at UNC. The technology allows ready-to-use products to be made 25 to 100 times faster than other methods, and creates previously unachievable geometries that open opportunities for innovation in health care, automotive, and aviation. Called Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), the technology manipulates light and oxygen to fuse objects in liquid media, creating the first 3D printing process that uses tunable photochemistry. It works by projecting beams of light through an oxygen-permeable window into a liquid resin. Working in tandem, light and oxygen control the solidification of the resin, creating commercially viable objects that can have feature sizes below 20 microns - or less than one-quarter of the width of a piece of papr.