Faster, smoother and more intricate, this printer could make 3-D printing a commercially viable enterprise.
If you thought printing out documents was a slow and agonizing process, 3-D printing might just push you over the edge. The revolutionary technology is capable of creating prosthetic arms and even food, but can take tens of hours to produce.
Scientists from a company called Carbon3D found a way to speed up the development with a process they’re calling Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP). CEO and co-founder Joseph DeSimone presented his new printer at a TED conference on Monday, creating an object in less than 10 minutes, Wired reported.
The process takes a pool of resin and uses light and oxygen to create the object. The product seems to appear as if out of nowhere, much like a scene in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” that inspired CLIP’s innovators, in which a villain rises from liquid metal.
The video of the highly detailed Eiffel Tower model is sped up, but it still cuts down dramatically on the amount of time to produce an object. It’s anywhere from 25 to 100 times faster than printers currently on the market.
Along with the increase in speed, DeSimone and his collaborators note that their printer differs from those on the market in that it creates each object in one go. Past 3-D printers create objects by building layer upon layer, which not only takes longer but also leaves ridged, bumpy edges.
“These hurdles mean that 3-D printing can be amazing for making prototypes, but just not as good for creating a commercial product in a lot of applications,” Rob Schoeben, Carbon3D’s chief marketing officer, told The Washington Post.
DeSimone and his team are hopeful their printer can be used to create small objects, including sensors for smartphones and medical equipment.
Learn more about CLIP at Carbon3D’s website and by watching the video below: