Jan 25, 2016 | By Alec

It’s hardly a secret that medical 3D printing is currently still in its infancy, though it seems that this is about to change. Though already frequently used to develop surgical models for unusual procedures, a new collaboration is set to finally enter the field of 3D printed surgical devices. One of the biggest players in the healthcare industry, Johnson & Johnson, has just announced that it will collaborate with Carbon3D to realize these custom 3D printed surgical instruments.

This is a huge event, simply because Johnson & Johnson is a huge deal. One of the leading developers of medical solutions, Johnson & Johnson is known as an innovative force that frequently collaborates with scientists and startups to develop state of the art medical solutions. They are also very interested in 3D printing, and are already working on creating 3D printed human tissue for use in drug testing procedures. With a market cap of $265 billion, Johnson & Johnson has the power and the name to steer a whole market and industry, so big times seem to be ahead for Carbon3D.

But their choice for Carbon3D isn’t so surprising, as this is one of the most promising startups within 3D printing at the moment. A very young startup from Redwood City, California, their whole selling point is their CLIP 3D printing technology. Carbon 3D really only reached headlines recently because of lecture at TED 2015, given by the company's founder and CEO Joseph DeSimone. Their custom made 3D printing technology CLIP stands for Continuous Liquid Interface Production, and somewhat resembles SLA printing. In a nutshell, CLIP harnesses UV light and oxygen to continuously grow polymers. Most importantly, it’s insanely quick: from 25 up to a 100 times faster than most other 3D printing technologies, while the results are comparable to injection molding. This has already earned them numerous projects and even a $100 million funding round led by Google Ventures.

Johnson & Johnson is apparently the next to benefit from this revolutionary 3D printing technology, and this collaboration could be huge for the medical 3D printing market as a whole. Incidentally, this is just one of the many projects Johnson & Johnson is working on as part of a new innovation model. The collaboration with Carbon3D was one of 21 new initiatives spread out across the consumer, medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors. “Our Johnson & Johnson Innovation Research & Development and Commercial leadership across all of our operating companies are continuously refining our external and internal innovation model,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D. “We are very excited by the continued expansion of this model across all three sectors of Johnson & Johnson. Our goal is to continuously work to be the most innovative company in the world on behalf of our patients and consumers through both our internal R&D programs and through our external collaborations.”

Though huge for Carbon3D this collaboration is, however, a disaster for Stratasys and 3D Systems, who have been looking to get a good position in that market themselves. Especially 3D Systems has been aggressively targeting the industry and acquiring specialist companies, and 20% of their 2014 revenue was earned in the healthcare industry (worth $129.3 million). It was also one of their biggest growth segments. As was the case for Stratasys, 2015 wasn’t a huge success year for 3D Systems, so missing out on the backing of Johnson & Johnson is doubtlessly a big blow for them.

Nonetheless, this latest announcement bodes well for Carbon3D and for the development of CLIP 3D printing. Through their previous work for Ford and, more recently, the adoption of CLIP 3D printing by special effects studio Legacy Effects, Carbon3D was already able to vastly expand their capacity. This is thus expected to continue and we will doubtlessly, in short, be hearing a lot more about Carbon3D in the near future.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Sarah wrote at 1/25/2016 10:20:16 PM:

No way, Gizmo 3D Printers all the way :D can't wait for 1 March when their printers will be available to the public on Indiegogo. Check out how super smooth and fast their prints are plus they have tons of videos and photos that show it http:www.gizmo3Dprinters.com.au

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