Mar 1, 2016 | By Alec
2015 was a wild ride for Carbon3D, a very young startup from Redwood City, California, and it looks like 2016 won’t be any different. They burst on the scene with their extremely quick and high quality CLIP resin 3D printing technology after a TedTalk in March 2015, and were quickly tapped by Hollywood special effects company Legacy Effects and Ford to 3D print parts and props. While the technology has remained quite exclusive, Carbon 3D has just announced that they will be expanding access to CLIP 3D printing through four service providers, including known 3D printing providers CIDEAS and Sculpteo, as well as industrial production providers The Technology House and WestStar Precision.
It’s just the latest chapter in the history of one of the fastest growing 3D printing startups in the world. Thrown into the spotlight by a lecture of founder and CEO Joseph DeSimone in March 2015, Carbon3D can be found at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science and 3D printing. “[We enable] creators to think beyond the limitations of convention to design the parts and products that will drive the businesses of the future,” they say. To date, they have already received more than $141 million in funding, most of which came from Google Ventures last August.
But they have a product that justifies that kind of growth. 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. “The process works by projecting a continuous sequence of UV images through an oxygen-permeable, UV-transparent window below a liquid resin. The dead zone created above the window maintains a liquid interface while the part advances above. CLIP leverages a range of materials which were designed to meet common engineering requirements — from the elongation and resilience expected of an injection molded polyurethane elastomer to the temperature resistance of a glass-filled Nylon, and many more,” they say.
The final resolution, surface finish and mechanical properties make the technology an excellent choice both for both functional prototyping and for the production of parts for high quality industries, such as automotive, medical and consumer electronics. Aside from its high quality, CLIP technology is also insanely fast – from 25 to 100 times faster than rivalling technologies.
Through these four companies, which have joined the company’s early customer program, that CLIP technology will now thus become available to a larger audience. “We’re excited that through these new partners, more product designers and engineers will have the opportunity to further uncover application opportunities with Carbon3D’s CLIP technology to produce polymeric parts with the resolution, surface finish and mechanical properties required for functional prototypes and production-quality parts,” they tell 3ders.org. According to CEO Joseph DeSimone, all new partners are key drivers of innovation and production. “We’re excited to partner with them and offer expanded access to CLIP to further uncover application opportunities for our technology,” he said.
So who are they? The first two are probably known to many readers. CIDEAS is a US 3D printing center that has been around since 1998, and who have over thirty machines in operation already. They are known to be one of the most advanced providers in the US. “Carbon’s range of engineering grade materials are a game-changer in advancing what is possible with additive manufacturing,” said Mike Littrell, President of CIDEAS. “We pride ourselves on partnering with our customers to solve unique challenges and the CLIP-based machine is a powerful tool that helps us create production-quality parts, shorten product development timelines and bring new design concepts to life.”
Sculpteo, of course, is a well-known French 3D printing giant with offices in San Francisco and Paris that are especially known for their wide range of material (more than 50), color and finishing options – and their quick deliveries. Perhaps less known to 3D printing hobbyists are the remaining two. The Technology House is an Ohio-based industrial production service for the medical, aerospace and defense markets, among others. While they already provide 3D printing services as well, CLIP is actually the first 3D printing solution offered by WestStar Precision – a producer of aerospace, medical and biotech solutions from North Carolina. Four different companies, but they’ve all managed to get their hands on a winning technology.
Posted in 3D Printing Service
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