The next generation of 3D printers has just been released, and they use a liquid technology so futuristic you might think they came out of Terminator 2.
The company is called Carbon 3D, and their new M1 3D printers, being shown off in the video above, are not only almost 100x faster than the previous generation’s technology, but finally allow production-quality prints in materials with a wide range of chemical and physical properties. Previous printers have been used primarily for prototyping (although some commercial-scale units can produce production-quality designs).
And they are now available for leasing, although they will set you back $40,000 per year.
Unlike 3D printers which deposit layer after layer of material on top of each other (usually made of plastic filament), the Carbon machines extract an item from a pool of liquid resin. It’s spookily high-tech when you watch it in action.
The method for creating a solid shape out of a liquid bath is that Carbon 3D has developed advanced CLIP technology to control not only the Ultraviolet light used to react with the resin, but the oxygen levels which influence the reactions, using a semi-permeable glass and calibrated software. This control helps them to refine the shape of objects (reducing the “layering effect” of additive manufacturing 3D printers) and even the chemical properties.
Here is a TED talk given by Joseph DeSimone, CEO & Co-Founder, introducing the world to the technology:
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