If you think conventional 3D printing is cool, wait until you see Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) in action. It takes the creation of objects to a fantastic new level, rising from a pool of liquid media like the cyborg cop in Terminator 2.
The new technology can make ready-to-use products 25 to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing, and vastly expands the materials that can be used and the geometries that can be achieved. It will open doors to innovations in health care and medicine, as well as the automotive and aviation industries.
Carbon3D Inc. demonstrates their technology in this surreal video.
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“CLIP…manipulates light and oxygen to fuse objects in liquid media, creating the first 3D printing process that uses tunable photochemistry instead of the layer-by-layer approach that has defined the technology for decades. It works by projecting beams of light through an oxygen-permeable window into a liquid resin. Working in tandem, light and oxygen control the solidification of the resin, creating commercially viable objects that can have feature sizes below 20 microns, or less than one-quarter of the width of a piece of paper.”
The technique allows the creation of 3D parts with novel properties in a matter of minutes, and could provide a model for the synthesis of new materials.
CLIP already holds great promise in the medical field. Doctors could create on-demand objects in a medical setting, such as cardiac stents personally tailored to a specific patient, dental implants or prosthetics.
In the commercial realm this new 3D printing can produce parts with consistent and predictable mechanical properties, unlike traditional 3D-printed parts which are inconsistent due to the layer-by-layer approach.
Investors and manufacturers are taking a keen interest in Carbon3D’s revolutionary technology, with leading software company Autodesk investing $10 million into the startup, and Ford Motor Company dedicating a new research program to using CLIP for vehicle-ready parts.