Say hello to Carbon3D, a stealth 3D company finally unveiling its breakthrough 3D printer process. What makes it compelling? Speed. It can handle the process between 25 and 100 times faster than what’s on the market currently. Someone is about to get a giant check.
What does the speed equate to? Mass production. No longer will companies be content to watching paint dry as the printer works. Speed is money in business. The company is making some bold claims since being founded in 2013.
Carbon3D has been working nonstop on their 3D printing technology, looking to upend the industry. So, what’s the new technology?
The company has calls it the Continuous Liquid Production technology, or CLIP. It brings in light and oxygen to cure a photosensitive resin for 3D printing. While most 3D printers go layer by layer, which leads to slow speeds and weak structures, Carbon3D has developed a new way.
Using light and oxygen, CLIP is actually able to print in true 3D.
“Current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionize manufacturing,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-Founder, Carbon3D. “Our CLIP technology offers the game-changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts.”
Oxygen and 3D Printing
What does oxygen bring to the table in 3D printing. For one, speed. Production times are drastically cut as seen in the video below. Think of the CLIP process as a contact lense. Those allow light and oxygen to pass through a permeable barrier.
The printer can control the amount of oxygen allowed in, thereby preventing certain areas of the prototype from curing. This can be as small of an area as 10 microns, or about 2-3 blood cells. Said another way? Extremely precise.
Carbon3D Venture Capital
Before you think this sounds like a garage pipe dream, the players of Silicon Valley are lining up. The Series A round was led by Sequoia Capital, perhaps the best VC firm in existence. They don’t toss money at pipe dreams. A Series B was led Silver Lake Kraftwerk, bringing the total raised to $41 million. Plenty of cash on hand to develop a revolutionary process.
Sequoia is fully backing Carbon3D, with a partner sitting on their board.
“If 3D printing hopes to break out of the prototyping niche it has been trapped in for decades, we need to find a disruptive technology that attacks the problem from a fresh perspective and addresses 3D printing’s fundamental weaknesses,” said Jim Goetz, Carbon3D board member and Sequoia partner. “When we met Joe and saw what his team had invented, it was immediately clear to us that 3D printing would never be the same.”
Of course with the company out of stealth mode and showing off its wares, could it be the company is looking for an exit. Major players could line up to purchase the company at a premium. And Sequoia is in the business of making a return. It will be something to watch this year.
The secret is out, and it’s all about speed. Toss in the recent molecular 3D printer, and the 3D printer space is definitely heating up with breakthroughs.