Sep 26, 2017 | By Tess

3D printing company Carbon will be slashing the cost of its polymer 3D printing resins through a new materials program that will offer bulk packaging for the materials at a much lower cost than before (up to 40 per cent less).

Within the 3D printing industry, the cost of materials has remained a contentious topic, with many individuals and companies believing that the technology will only truly become a viable manufacturing option when the cost of materials is brought down.

And while this belief includes and perhaps even focuses on metal 3D printing materials, plastic resins and filaments are also seen as having too high a cost.

That is why a recent announcement from Carbon— that it is launching a materials program that will cut resin costs significantly—is so exciting.

Through the program, the Silicon Valley company will be offering its 3D printing polymer resins in bulk format to appeal to high-volume manufacturers. The first material to be offered at the reduced price is rigid polyurethane 70 (RPU), a rigid and versatile resin with many applications.

Carbon says it will be selling the material for $150 per liter, significantly less than the $250 per liter it used to retail for. The company also adds that it plans to reduce the cost even further (less than $100 per liter) over the next year through collaborations with its supply chain partners.

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, CEO and co-founder of Carbon, commented on the new program, saying: “This production volume materials approach will allow us to ensure that our partners like adidas, which will be printing thousands or millions of parts, can do so economically compared to other manufacturing methods such as injection molding.

“No other 3D printing company has offered this because they do not have the combination of a complete system for 3D manufacturing combined with first class materials that enable additive manufacturing at scale. Carbon now does offer that complete package."

Carbon's SpeedCell system

As part of its new materials program, Carbon will also be launching a meter mix and dispense (MMD) device which enables the dispensing of bulk resins. This tool, developed in collaboration with Henkel Adhesive Technologies, is designed to be paired with Carbon’s SpeedCell manufacturing system.

SpeedCell, which was announced in March 2017, is a connected system of CLIP 3D printing units that makes large-volume and repeatable production possible. Paired with the MMD instrument, the SpeedCell system is capable of dispensing RPU 70 in bulk quantities.

According to Carbon, Adidas and Ford are just some of the companies it works with that will be leveraging its bulk materials program. Considering that Adidas plans to mass produce parts for its Futurecraft 4D sneakers using Carbon’s 3D printing technology, having lower-cost materials can go a long way.

3D printed midsole for Adidas' Futurecraft 4D sneaker

The 3D printing company also announced that it has expanded its European operations through partnerships with German companies Citim, Fast Radius, and Oechsler, as well as Fast Radius and Paragon in the United Kingdom.

Companies wishing to learn more about Carbon’s new materials offer or its 3D printing technologies in general can visit them this week in Birmingham at the TCT additive manufacturing show.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

 

 

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