ARCHITECT’s Wanda Lau looks at Redwood, Calif.-based startup Carbon, which just announced plans to make their Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) printer available to the public through four 3D-printing service bureaus and contract manufacturers: C.Ideas, based in Crystal Lake, Ill.; Sculpteo in San Francisco and Paris; the Technology House, headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio; and WestStar Precision in Apex, N.C.
According to Carbon, the printer’s technology allows for printing 25 times to 100 times faster than standard 3D printing methods.
CLIP uses what it calls a “tunable photochemical process” that essentially projects, in ultraviolet light, a movie comprising cross-sections of the desired object upward into a liquid resin bath. As layers of liquid resin solidify from the UV exposure, the printer’s build-platform rises, pulling the continuously growing object from the bath. The continuity is possible due to a critical oxygen- and light-permeable window in the bath that maintains an uncured resin interface onto which newly printed layers can glom onto the already printed component.