3D printing has struggled to deliver on its promise to transform manufacturing. Prints take forever, parts are mechanically weak, and material choices are far too limited. That’s because current 3D printing technology is really just 2D printing, over and over again.
CLIP — Continuous Liquid Interface Production — is a breakthrough technology that grows parts instead of printing them layer by layer. CLIP allows businesses to produce commercial quality parts at game-changing speeds, creating a clear path to 3D manufacturing.
It is a bold new technique — inspired, yes, by Terminator 2 — that’s 25 to 100 times faster, and creates smooth, strong parts. They believe they can go to 1000 times faster and will eventually need water cooling because the printing is so fast.
They can make custom parts in realtime. Things like a personalized stent or dental implants while you are at the medical office.
They can make microscale structures.
CLIP enables a much wider range of material to be used to make 3D parts with unique properties, including elastomers, silicones, nylon-like materials, ceramics and biodegradable materials.
“In addition to using new materials, CLIP can allow us to make stronger objects with unique geometries that other techniques cannot achieve, such as cardiac stents personally tailored to meet the needs of a specific patient,” said DeSimone.
Traditionally made 3D printed parts are notoriously inconsistent. The mechanical properties vary depending on the direction the parts were printed due to the layer-by-layer approach.
Parts printed with CLIP are much more like injection-molded parts. CLIP produces consistent and predictable mechanical properties, creating parts that are smooth on the outside and solid on the inside.
Harnessing Light + Oxygen
UV light triggers photo polymerization and oxygen inhibits it. By carefully balancing the interaction of light and oxygen, CLIP continuously grows objects from a pool of resin.
CLIP moves beyond the limitations of 3D printing to offer unprecedented speed, quality, and choice.