– Derek Mathers, Business Development Manager, Worrell
3D printing has the potential to be a disruptive technology because it is the first human manufacturing technique that emulates nature by growing complex structures additively, using only the required material. 3D printing gives engineers the freedom to design without the constraints of a mold, and carries with it the ability to switch production lines instantly with a new file uploaded.
The current 3D printing market is comprised of many machines that have been marketed as “3D printers,” but do not truly print in three dimensions; rather, they repeat two-dimensional layers over-and-over again. This layer-by-layer process creates mechanical weaknesses in the parts, and takes hours to print even the smallest components. In addition, the cost of 3D-printable materials is prohibitively high, driven by the fact that many companies are making aggressive growth numbers through exceptionally high margins on proprietary material.
In order for 3D printing to become a meaningful option for mass production, printing speeds need to increase significantly, while maintaining accuracy. Carbon3D’s CLIP (Contiuous Liquid Interface Production) printers seek to fill all of these requirements gaps – CLIP uses a light projection system that continuously “grows” parts at 100x the rate of current technology, with much higher resolution.
Because CLIP uses a continuous process, instead of the more common layer-by-layer approach, it is able to directly grow parts instead of having to mechanically re-set its print nozzle after each layer. This continuous process also addresses the issue of strength since it makes parts that are mechanically similar to injection-molded parts.
In addition to its technology, Carbon3D also has an amazing staff. Joe DeSimone, the CEO and Co-Founder, is one of a handful of individuals who have been elected to all three branches of the National Academies. The team also includes Apple’s ex-VP of Worldwide Marketing (as Chief Marketing Officer) and Tesla’s ex-VP of Software and Electrical (as VP of Engineering). They have also been working closely with DuPont – as the fourth largest chemical manufacturer in the world, DuPont will be able to provide Carbon3D with materials that are significantly cheaper than the proprietary materials used in current 3DP machines.
Carbon3D is poised to up-end not only the 3D printing industry, but also manufacturing as we know it. Expect to see Carbon3D machines in hospitals, vehicles, and all over your television within the next couple of years, and prepare your business model for these new opportunities.