With even the best 3D printers on the market, speed is a serious consideration. Most 3D printers take a very long time to create even a small, basic print. Larger sizes and more complex designs take even longer.
For all the promise of this technology, there’s a lot of waiting involved. Kodak is hoping to change that by partnering with Carbon3D to further ultra-fast CLIP 3D printing technology.
What’s CLIP All About?
First, let’s turn things around – CLIP is actually the brainchild of Carbon3D. Kodak is stepping in to help the startup bring this promising new technology to the table.
CLIP was unveiled in 2015, and stands for continuous liquid interface product. It’s not the easiest or most descriptive name in the world, but it does offer a lot of promise (and speed).
Essentially, objects are printed from a pool of resin, and the process is supposed to be as much as 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing technology currently available. It’s a little bit like SLA 3D printing, but the balance of oxygen and UV light actually creates prints with layers that are almost invisible.
That’s a far cry from the thick layers produced with most 3D printers today.
Because the layers are so small, it means there’s far less finishing required to create the final object. That eliminates time and labor, reducing costs, and creating something much closer to a finished product.
Kodak isn’t the only company interested in the technology. Ford actually just adopted it for use in parts creation, prototyping and for other purposes.
However, the partnership with Kodak does promise big things for Carbon3D.
“We are excited to have Kodak as a partner as we continue to bring our technology to an array of industries, including automotive, aerospace, athletic shoes and life sciences,” explained Carbon3D’s CEO, Dr. Joseph DeSimone. “This collaboration further proves our dedication to the development of breakthrough additive materials.”
Those thoughts were echoed by Jeff Clarke, Kodak’s CEO. “Together, Carbon and Kodak are well positioned to develop and expand market opportunities for CLIP-based additive manufacturing…Kodak is a world leader in materials development and we are excited to be working with an innovative and progressive company like Carbon.”
While it will be quite some time before CLIP trickles down to the consumer level, it’s already offering big advantages to commercial and industrial operations. As new materials become available and the technology becomes cheaper to produce, look for it to debut in printers designed for small businesses and even home hobbyists.