Joseph DeSimone, founder and CEO of Carbon 3D, a startup in Redwood City, California. His company claims to have a technology that is 25 to 100 times faster, depending on the object and the material than other 3D printers.
DeSimone hopes Carbon 3D’s printers will be used to make airplane or car parts that are stronger and yet lighter than ones used today, helping to reduce fuel consumption. He also wants to make it possible to rapidly print custom shoe soles, fitted to the quirks of individual arches, and place printers in operating rooms to generate stents matched to patients’ arteries.
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.
This March, the company came out of stealth mode with a Science paper describing its technology and a captivating video of a small blue model of the Eiffel Tower emerging rapidly from a viscous little pool.
DeSimone says that while most commercial 3-D printing systems have been designed by mechanical engineers, his chemistry focus sets Carbon 3D apart. “We want to offer materials properties that haven’t been seen before,” he says.
Editor’s Summary – Fast, continuous, 3D printing
Although three-dimensional (3D) printing is now possible using relatively small and low-cost machines, it is still a fairly slow process. This is because 3D printers require a series of steps to cure, replenish, and reposition themselves for each additive cycle. Tumbleston et al. devised a process to effectively grow solid structures out of a liquid bath. The key to the process is the creation of an oxygen-containing “dead zone” between the solid part and the liquid precursor where solidification cannot occur. The precursor liquid is then renewed by the upward movement of the growing solid part. This approach made structures tens of centimeters in size that could contain features with a resolution below 100 µm.
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.