The 3D printing industry is changing fast but one company’s revolutionary new technology could shake up the whole thing.Carbon3D have unveiled a new process for printing which could be up to 100 times faster than previous technology, according to a study published in the journal Science.
The process used is called “continuous liquid interface production technology”, or CLIP.
Some have compared the method to that used to make killer androids in the hit film Terminator 2.
It places a pool of liquid resin over a digital light projection system which harnesses light and oxygen to grow the resin into a solid object instead of the usual layer-by-layer printing process.
“Current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionise manufacturing,” said Dr Joseph DeSimone, chief executive and co-founder of Carbon3D.
“Our CLIP technology offers the game-changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts.”
The Science article states: “We delineate critical control parameters and show that complex solid parts can be drawn out of the resin at rates of hundreds of millimetres per hour.
“These print speeds allow parts to be produced in minutes instead of hours.”
Dr DeSimone said other 3D printing methods are really just 2D printing being done over and over again.
While the process is currently good at making prototypes, it is not yet up to making multiple commercial products.
But Dr DeSimone, who is also a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State, believes the technique’s skill at making small, smooth objects will help make breakthroughs in the tiny sensors we rely on for smartphones and fitness bands, as well as in making microneedles and other systems for administering drugs.