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3D Printing: Breakthrough Technology Enables Commercial-Quality Game-Changing Speeds

By Dick Weisinger

Carbon3D, recently announced a new technique that leapfrogs existing 3D printing technology to be able to create 3D objects 25-100 times faster and of geometries significantly more complex than what is possible with existing 3D printing technologies.

The new process is called Continuous Liquid Interphase Printing (CLIP).  The process works by shining light through an oxygen permeable window and fuses and then solidifies oxygen with liquid resin to grow a 3 dimensional object.

The Carbon3D website explains that “3D printing has struggled to deliver on its promise to transform manufacturing. Prints take forever, parts are mechanically weak, and material choices are far too limited. That’s because current 3D printing technology is really just 2D printing, over and over again.”

Joseph M. DeSimone, professor of chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill, said that “current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionize manufacturing.  Our CLIP technology offers the game-changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts…  By rethinking the whole approach to 3D printing, and the chemistry and physics behind the process, we have developed a new technology that can create parts radically faster than traditional technologies by essentially ‘growing’ them in a pool of liquid…  In addition to using new materials, CLIP can allow us to make stronger objects with unique geometries that other techniques cannot achieve, such as cardiac stents personally tailored to meet the needs of a specific patient.  Since CLIP facilitates 3D polymeric object fabrication in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days, it would not be impossible within coming years to enable personalized coronary stents, dental implants or prosthetics to be 3D printed on-demand in a medical setting.”

Jim Goetz, Carbon3D board member and Sequoia partner, said that “if 3D printing hopes to break out of the prototyping niche it has been trapped in for decades, we need to find a disruptive technology that attacks the problem from a fresh perspective and addresses 3D printing’s fundamental weaknesses.  When we met Joe and saw what his team had invented, it was immediately clear to us that 3D printing would never be the same.”

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