3D printing continues to evolve. More recently, Stanford engineers, including Joseph DeSimone, the co-founder of Carbon, devised a new method of 3D printing that they claim is 5 to 10 times faster than today’s fastest high-resolution printer. available. On top of that, thanks to this technology “ injection continuous liquid interface (iCLIP), users would be able to use multiple types of resin to make a single part.
The name CLIP may ring a bell. Continuous liquid interface production was first invented by Joseph DeSimone (one of the creators of this brand new technology) and his colleagues in 2015 and is the technology on which Carbon was founded. Sure, their technology has since been renamed Digital Light Synthesis, and Joseph DeSimone left his CEO role in 2019 to become chairman of Carbon’s board, but the basis of the process is the same. This latest innovation enables multi-material, resin printing, as it combines the traditional “CLIP” with the active injection of resins where needed.
How does the iCLIP process work?
iCLIP is an in-tank curing method using UV light, but it seeks to improve on some of the perceived limitations of CLIP while gaining the benefits of this technology. Notably, it will continue to incorporate a “dead zone” or oxygen layer that serves to significantly reduce bond forces during the light-curing step. These forces are common in resin 3D printing, and by eliminating them it is possible to dramatically increase printing speed. Indeed, in the research paper, the engineers note that CLIP itself could belong to a “third generation” of vat light-curing thanks to its speed and other advantages. However, the original technology still has drawbacks, including being limited to relatively low-viscosity resins and not allowing multi-material printing.
This latest process is expected to remedy this, including mounting syringe pumps to the machine and adding additional resin at key points in the process. This reduces adhesive forces, by nearly two orders of magnitude according to the data, allowing for even faster printing and the elimination of common defects. Also, by adding resin in various places, multi-material printing will be possible, which is not usually the case with vat light-curing methods. Mr. DeSimone concludes:
This new technology will allow the full potential of 3D printing to be realized. It will allow us to print much faster, which will help usher in a new era of digital manufacturing, as well as enabling the manufacture of complex, multi-material objects in a single step.. The next step for the researchers will be to develop software capable of optimizing the fluid distribution network for each room.
You can find out more in the research article, available for download HERE. What do you think of the iCLIP process? Share your opinion in the comments of the article. Find all our videos on our channel Youtube or follow us on Facebook Where Twitter !
*Cover photo credits: Stanford University