Mar. 17, 2015

Carbon3D today emerged from stealth on the main stage of the TED conference with an entirely new breakthrough 3D printing process, which is, according to the company, 25-100 times faster than than other 3D printing processes on the market.

Carbon3D is a Silicon Valley based company and was founded in 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC. The CLIP technology was originally developed by Professor Joseph DeSimone, Professor Edward Samulski, and Dr. Alex Ermoshkin.

The technology that the company calls Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP) works by harnessing light and oxygen to continuously grow objects from a pool of resin instead of printing them layer-by-layer. One experiment captured in a study published Monday in Science shows a mini-Eiffel Tower emerging from a vat of blue liquid in just six minutes.

Existing 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, technology is really just 2D printing, over and over again. As a result, 3D printed parts take many hours, even days, to produce and are mechanically weak due to their shale-like layers.

By carefully balancing the interaction of UV light, which triggers photo polymerization, and oxygen, which inhibits the reaction, a traditional mechanical approach for 3D printing now becomes a tunable photochemical process.

"Current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionize manufacturing," said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-Founder, Carbon3D. "Our CLIP technology offers the game-changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts."

How Clip works

At the heart of the CLIP process is a special window that is transparent to light and permeable to oxygen, much like a contact lens. By controlling the oxygen flux through the window, CLIP creates a "dead zone" in the resin pool just tens of microns thick (about 2-3 diameters of a red blood cell) where photopolymerization cannot occur. As a series of cross-sectional images of a 3D model is played like a movie into the resin pool from underneath, the physical object emerges continuously from just above the dead zone. Conventionally made 3D printed parts are notorious for having mechanical properties that vary depending on the direction the parts were printed because of the layer-by-layer approach. Much more like injection-moulded parts, CLIP produces consistent and predictable mechanical properties, smooth on the outside and solid on the inside.

Carbon3D's process has impressed Venture capitalists. Carbon3D had partnered with Sequoia Capital to lead the company's Series A round of financing in 2013, and with Silver Lake Kraftwerk for their Series B round. In total, they have raised $41 million to date to commercialize the technology.

"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," said Jim Goetz, Carbon3D board member and Sequoia partner. "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."

"The approach that these chemists have taken, it's so dramatically different and potentially disruptive at both a materials level and in pace, which has always been a point of friction around 3D printing — I mean, it's like watching paint dry," Goetz added.

While today's Carbon3D 3D printers can print up to 100 times faster than other process, the technology could go faster still, DeSimone said. "We can go a thousand times faster, I believe."



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Amir wrote at 3/5/2016 5:24:23 AM:

How much for printer

johnnyboy wrote at 9/15/2015 8:44:37 PM:

how many patents do they have?

smartbird wrote at 5/15/2015 2:58:38 PM:

Try PVDF, Teflons cousin.

Kami wrote at 4/13/2015 11:47:55 AM:

@pizzaslice are you chemist yourself ?

LM wrote at 4/1/2015 5:56:24 PM:

Not exactly new...but still cool. As Ed mentioned, the Solidator does the same thing and has been out for a while. I think it was one of the first printers to use this technology only they have a much larger build platform (11.02"x8.26"x7.87"). It uses a FEP film with an air-gap instead of the silicone release and does ~10s/layer. Solidator patent:

Cmccoy wrote at 3/24/2015 11:06:55 PM:

R&D Prototype produces perfectly clear parts from SLA. Even 1 piece hollow parts with small neck openings such as a soft drink bottle. Platform size is a problem for this technology - maybe that will be addressed, but the Envisiontech machine is very similiar and they have not developed a large frame machine in 15 years.... or however long they have been around. Request some samples from R&D Prototype in Lee's Summit Mo. - very impressive presentation models produced at a good price.

Gizmo 3D Printers wrote at 3/22/2015 11:15:39 PM:

Here is a speed test from Gizmo 3D Printers More tests to come. Cheapest printer will be around $2500

alvaro wrote at 3/21/2015 6:51:01 PM:

We see above models of teeth can use it to print dental implants using biomaterials with the same shape of true teeth?

Lightbeam3d wrote at 3/17/2015 9:48:19 PM:

Very nice not to have the basement moving up and down pulling parts off of build-tray!

Ed wrote at 3/17/2015 3:30:21 PM:

Please have a look at the patent from Solidator, they use the same principle.

pizzaslice wrote at 3/17/2015 12:17:08 PM:

carbon 3D Postby pizzaslice » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:59 am Technology: Continous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) Company: Speed: 300 mm per hour compared to 60 mm for fast silicone release machines Scientific Article: ... ce.aaa2397 Abstract : Additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing use time-consuming, stepwise layer-by-layer approaches to object fabrication. We demonstrate the continuous generation of monolithic polymeric parts up to tens of centimeters in size with feature resolution below 100 micrometers. Continuous liquid interface production is achieved with an oxygen-permeable window below the ultraviolet image projection plane, which creates a “dead zone” (persistent liquid interface) where photopolymerization is inhibited between the window and the polymerizing part. We delineate critical control parameters and show that complex solid parts can be drawn out of the resin at rates of hundreds of millimeters per hour. These print speeds allow parts to be produced in minutes instead of hours. Patent: ... CCAQ6AEwAA Financiers: Sequoia Capital, Silver Lake Kraftwerk Money: $41 million to date Technology: As a non sticking layer they use a fluorpolymer, e.g. Teflon AF 1600 or AF 2400. The AF 1600 and AF 2400 have a high oxygen permeability and cost 1800 dollars per 25 gram. The speed of the object's formation depend on the viscosity of the resin η, atmospheric pressure , the height of the gap between the object and the bottom of the chamber h, and the linear dimension L of the object's bottom surface. In the patent, simple calculations are performed to estimate the speed using the theory of viscous flow between two parallel plates. The time τ which is required to fill the gap shown on FIG 7 is given by the equation: theta ~ (L/h)² * eta / Pressure For silicone, the oxygen permeable layer is in the order of microns, so h= 2.5 micron (source: Dendukuri, D., Pregibon, D. C., Collins, J., Hatton, T. A., and Doyle, P. S. (2006). “Continuous-flow lithography for high-throughput microparticle synthesis”. Nature Mater., Vol. 5, pp. 365–369) They state they can increase the oxygen inhibiting layer to 100 micrometer, so h = 100 micrometer. For the other parameters, they use the values: Pressure is atmospheric so Pressure is 1 Bar L is object length, e.g. 100 mm eta is resin viscosity is 100 cPoise Using the equation mentioned above and the larger h, they claim they can significantly increase the build speed. An alternative to increase the build speed, would be to use an oxygen rich environment and a large pressure in the build chamber, they mention 10 bar for an embodiment see figure 8 in the patent. Discussion: Is this a real innovation!?! I would counter it by stating that Dupont simply came up with a way to make better oxygen permeable films. This is a breakthrough, just like the increased processing power of computer is a breakthrough, but is it patentable!? I guesss, if you buy this fluorpolymer, and simply use this film instead of the other films most DIYers have been using, you should be able to significantly increase the build speed. Are there any cheap alternatives to Teflon AF 1600 or AF 2400!? So cheap highly permeable layers of silicon or porous glass?!

The truth will out wrote at 3/17/2015 11:12:55 AM:

Cut the marketing BS guys.. its still a layer by layer system! frame by frame = layers! they may be very fine, but they are there.

pizzaslice wrote at 3/17/2015 9:52:23 AM:

patent is WO 2014126837 A2

pizzaslice wrote at 3/17/2015 9:42:18 AM:

How Clip works!? This is indeed a good question, but still unaswered. I guess they don't use silicone. Are any patents!?

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