3D printing with the Carbon 3D printer and the CLIP technology

The CLIP technology was introduced in February 2014, when its inventors (Joseph M. DeSimone, Alexander Ermoshkin, Nikita Ermoshkin, and Edward T. Samulski) filled the two first patents. A few months later, the company CARBON3D was created to use this brand-new additive manufacturing technology commercially. They are based in Redwood City ( San Francisco ).

The company became famous through a TED talk by CARBON3D’s founder. In this presentation,  Joseph M. DeSimone demonstrated that it was possible to 3D print a complex object in roughly 10 minutes. A recent $100 million investment from Google in the company also contributed to making it famous in the 3D printing industry and the tech world. 

Carbon’s CLIP-based technology combines the engineering-grade properties of thermoplastics with exceptional resolution and surface finish. It makes a range of features and applications possible for industries as varied as automotive, medical, and consumer electronics.

Carbon 3D printer with part in the building platform
The Carbon 3D printer after a successful 3D print with the building platform up

The CLIP 3D printing technology and its benefits

CLIP, which stands for Continuous Liquid Interface Production, eliminates shortcomings of other 3D printing technology by emphasizing a tunable photochemical process over a traditional mechanical approach.

Graphics on how the CLIP technology works
The CLIP technology

CLIP works by projecting a continuous sequence of UV images generated by a digital light projector through an oxygen-permeable, UV-transparent window below a liquid resin bath. The dead zone above the window maintains a liquid interface below the part. Above the dead zone, the curing part is drawn out of the resin bath.

CARBON 3D created two machines: the M1 printer and the M2 printer. The CARBON M1 3D printer is the first printer created by a 3D printing company. The M2 printer is the same and uses the same 3D printing technique, but it can 3D print more significant parts. Large build volume is becoming essential in 3D printing. More and more 3D manufacturers have to provide large-scale 3D printing. It is growing yearly, so more significant 3D printers are needed on the market.

CARBON 3D also created the Smart Part Washers, a machine that cleans the parts after the 3D printing process.

What can you do with CARBON 3D's technology?

This additive manufacturing technology now helps a wide range of industries. For example, these biocompatible materials created thanks to the continuous liquid interface production are well used in the medical industry. This technology is good if you want to use 3D printing for manufacturing consumer products.

Brands such as Adidas or Ford Motor Company are using the technology of this 3D printing company. These two brands even partnered with CARBON to make the most of the CARBON CLIP technique.

For example, 3D printing materials such as rigid polyurethane or elastomeric polyurethane have excellent mechanical properties and can be used for many applications. Do not hesitate to check our material pages to get more information. 

What are the materials supported by the CLIP technology?

Carbon has created a diverse and growing selection of materials that enable product designers and engineers to build functional prototypes and production parts. We currently have seven Carbon materials available for use. The materials were designed to meet standard engineering requirements — from the elongation and resilience expected of an injection molded polyurethane elastomer to the temperature resistance of a glass-filled Nylon and many more. Please contact us to learn if Carbon’s materials are suitable for your application needs.

Nozzle part 3D printed on Carbon 3D with CLIP technology
Nozzle part 3D printed on Carbon 3D with CLIP technology

How to 3D print with the CLIP technology?

For now, the access to a Carbon 3D printer is limited. Sculpteo is part of a select group of early customers, working with Carbon to apply CLIP across industries. 

For early access to the CLIP 3D printing technology, we created a waiting list to which you can enroll and be among the first to try it. We look forward to learning about your needs to discover if CLIP is the right solution for you.

Of course, if you’re in a rush, there are alternatives to these materials, mainly when using our Resin material produced with the Polyjet technology, which also has excellent mechanical properties.

We have created a wealth of information to help you choose between the various materials. Why not take a look at: