3D printing is a great piece of technology as it has all sorts of uses, from creating physical working prototypes and to creating devices used in medical situations. However the process can be a bit slow since this is more than just squeezing out droplets of ink onto a piece of paper. However a company called Carbon3D claim to have come up with a way that will make that process anywhere between 25-100 times faster than the current process.
According to Joseph DeSimone who is one of the company’s co-founders, and is also a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina state, he describes this new printing process as continuous liquid interface production technology, or CLIP for short. How it works is that a pool of resin is placed over a digital light projection system, and from there specific bursts of light and oxygen are introduced to the resin.
The light will help to harden the resin while the oxygen will keep it from going too hard. Striking up the right balance basically allows shapes and latices to be created as it goes in a single piece, as opposed to multiple layers of material which is currently how 3D printing works. Rob Schoeben, the company’s chief marketing officer hopes that this means that 3D printing can eventually be used to create actual commercial products as opposed to merely making prototypes.
The company is hoping to see their technology being used in industrial applications as early as next year, and to date have managed to secure as much as $41 million in funding from various venture capital firms.