We thought we knew how 3D printing works, but as it turns out – we had no clue.
Luckily for all of us, a company called Carbon3D is here to enlighten us, and trust me when I say this – you will love this.
The company had firmly believed that 3D printing we have today is actually just 2D printing of layer after layer, until you get the desired object, and that engineers were always just looking at how to create things out of layers.
What they wanted was a printer which would truly make 3D objects, and they drew their inspiration from Terminator 2.
In that movie, the main villain T-1000 rises from its puddle of metal alloys, and the new printer works in a similar fashion. It’s also 25 to 100 times faster than anything on the market now, Washington Post writes.
"We think that popular 3-D printing is actually misnamed — it's really just 2-D printing over and over again," said Joseph DeSimone, a professor of chemistry at University of North Carolina and North Carolina State as well as one of Carbon3D's co-founders.
"The strides in that area have mostly been driven by mechanical engineers figuring out how to make things layer by layer to precisely create an object. We're two chemists and a physicist, so we came in with a different perspective."
DeSimone and his colleagues call their new process "continuous liquid interface production technology," or CLIP.
Washington Post explains how the process of creating 3D objects works:
“CLIP places a pool of resin over a digital light projection system. A special window between the resin and light allows both light and oxygen to travel through (much like a contact lens, DeSimone explained).
To create an object, CLIP projects specific bursts of light and oxygen. Light hardens the resin, and oxygen keeps it from hardening. By controlling light and oxygen exposure in tandem, intricate shapes and latices can be made in one piece instead of the many layers of material that usually make up a 3D-printed object.
Those layers are defects, keeping the object from being a smooth surface. To minimize them, designers have to spend even longer printing the objects out.”
Check out the YouTube video showing, at 7x speed, what the process looks like.