It will apparently be the cover story. (Does this count as Sequoia breaking Science's embargo?):
From the abstract:
"...feature resolution below 100 micrometers. ... complex solid parts can be drawn out of the resin at rates of hundreds of millimeters per hour."
Key novel feature is the oxygen-permeable, UV-transmitting membrane at the bottom of the tank that creates a thin (down to 20um) inhibited 'dead zone' where the resin can't polymerize. They project the image for the current layer up through the membrane and the dead zone, so the build layer is actually within the tank. This means they can just draw the part up continuously from the top, with no stepping or processing needed after each layer. The thickness of the effective build layer can be controlled by adding a UV light-absorbing dye to the resin, which allows them to optimize for different print speeds.
Here's a relevant patent, issued in 2014, listing the 3 founders of carbon3D (formerly EIPI systems):
And... founder Joe Desimone also gave a Ted Talk tonight, so soon we'll even get to see a splashy 18-minute long talk about the technology.
These guys don't mess around. Their inventions do spin off into real companies with real products, and they have a track record to prove their success. Joe has been involved with projects as diverse as an environmentally-friendly dry cleaning technology  to nanocarriers for vaccines .
I was ready to write this off as another promising idea that would either never make it to market or experience serious issues with the quality and reliability of the polymers. Knowing now that DeSimone is behind this is all the reassurance I need. This will be a real product, it will make it to market, and it will produce quality 3D prints.
It's not that engineers aren't important, but they shouldn't be running the company. It's not the skill they have cultivated. They do still probably have a significant equity stake, so all is not lost.
I just find it odd that Dr. Alex Ermoshkin the co-founder is listed somewhere after "Head of Customer Engagement" for example.
I just noticed that they are listed under the heading "North Carolina Office" and not "Leadership Team" so perhaps it is a simple as academics wanting to stay in academia.
The big difference here is that they're doing photopolymerization at the bottom of the tank, rather than at the top like everybody else. This requires a transparent material that passes oxygen on the bottom of the tank, so the action takes place on the surface of that membrane.
They're vague about the details. How long does the membrane last? Is it an expensive consumable? Is the process gas air, or pure oxygen? Why do all the videos show the object being built slightly out of focus?
It seems to generate smooth surfaces nicely, but none of the examples have fine detail or sharp corners.
They do have a video of the actual product at the bottom, which is just plain cool.
This is still a layer-by-layer process: the DLP takes a 3D object and uses a 2D projection (in both the mathematical and physical sense) per layer. Due to pixel constraints, this process will produce objects with similar resolution, although may have more organic edges instead of harder ones. I’d bet the software stack being used still slices the object into layers, so the projector still operates in a layer-by-layer fashion, and likely well below the theoretical 60 or 120 layers / second max dictated by frame-rate. The key advantage here, and it’s a big one, is speed.
It's tremendously exciting to see companies tackling the speed problem in 3DP. In the next two years, we will see a 25x improvement on print speeds from companies like HP, Carbon3D, ...
From the paper:
"Because CLIP is continuous, the refresh rate of projected images can be increased without altering print speed, ultimately allowing for smooth 3D objects with no model slicing artifacts."
"elevated at print speeds of 500 mm/hour"
Sequoia put in $40M to make a business out of it, which is a very different goal.
Is there some new IP here I'm missing?
you may also want to check to formlabs last year, and their litigation on the patenting.
That should be enough to get anybody started!
Too bad the Telfon for a 10"x10" bed, 100 um thick would be 750$ (10 grams at 72,000$/kg).
The ramp test patterns in Fig. 1C were printed with trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA) using the photoinitiator, diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethyl-benzoyl)phosphine oxide. Other objects were printed with a combination of monomers from Sartomer (CN2920 & CN981), TMPTA, and reactive diluents such as n-vinylpyrrolidone, isobornyl acrylate, and cyclohexane dimethanol di-vinyl ether. We also utilized the photoinitiators, phenylbis(2,4,6-trimethyl-benzoyl)phosphine oxide, 1-hydroxycyclohexyl phenyl ketone, and 2-benzyl-2-(dimethylamino)4morpholinobutyrophenone along with an assortment of dyes from Wikoff and Mayzo.
If you look at the Form 1 printer or the B9Creator, there's a mechanical step between every layer where it needs to actuate the platform in order to loosen the resin from the projection window, so it can build the next layer. In the Form 1, it peels the print off, and the B9Creator slides a window. (look for videos on youtube.)
In both instances, the amount of time spent actuating the mechanical part adds up, and results in a significant amount of time spent in the print actuating the plate. What the oxygen membrane allows us to do is to skip that step between every layer, and simply keep shining a continuous changing image slice of the object as we're pulling the object out of the resin.
Not only does this have the advantage of speeding up prints by orders of magnitude, in materials, the grain of the object influences the type of thing you can built. If you print a stress holding object with the grain orientated in the wrong direction, the part will fail very readily. This way, we have greater design freedom, without worrying about grain direction.
What keeps the oxygen at the bottom of the tank? Why doesn't it diffuse upward and prevent curing? Why doesn't it get sucked upward and prevent curing? Are there limitations on the geometry needed to prevent oxygen from moving up?
Is the oxygen permeability what keeps the printed object from adhering to the membrane?
That should let them print really quickly and precisely, even compared to the SLA printers you link.
The reason it hasn't been possible in the past is that the polymerization process requires oxygen, which has only previously been available from the air over the liquid resin. Their system has some "secret sauce" for getting it to the bottom of the vat.
The true build layer is actually within the liquid, near the bottom, but not on it.
And I am waaaay relieved they raised 40M in a series A rather than have this be a link to a kickstarter (which I feared) since bringing this to market isn't a kickstarter level kind of thing. Now if they can stay disciplined and not waste the $40M it could be very interesting.
This is just bottom-up UV-DLP SLA with a new twist: taking fuller advantage of oxygen permeable materials for the vat to eliminate the recoating step and get to continuous printing. A similar idea was tried, the ill-fated Solidator used a pressurized vat bottom with a permeable membrane. Though from what I know Solidator was not counting on the oxygen inhibition in the same manner as Carbon3d. Solidator's problems were not related to the inhibition technology, just the standard hardware issues faced by many on KS. Other companies have similar technologies as Carbon3D in production or soon to reach the market. But a very talented team and quite the splash of a product launch.
The other thing to note is that this only works with a certain subset of polymerization reactions--not all polymerizations are oxygen inhibited so if they want to move into truly water-clear and UV stable materials this design won't work.
I wonder how it would perform with a controllable dipping system and a DLP.
Sounds like prior art. Details matter of course.
Maybe some chemistry/materials engineer can figure out ahead of time how to take a polymerized object and convert it back to a usable resin. Really, we have to start analyzing the end product for recycle-ability before the tech explodes.
Don't kid yourself. The photopolymer resin used here still has a noticeable odour, which is in many cases worse than ABS.
PLA filament, on the other hand, has very little odour.
I would be curious is the projection technique is limiting right now in the build size? Their prototype (or what was shown in the video) seemed relatively small.
Not arguing that it is not a cool technique, just saying that they marketing it again with bogus wording.
I've seen many FDM printers do continuous, albeit vase-like, prints. Shall we market them as Continuous Filament Fuser?
In theory you could tell the build plate to go up 100 microns and tell the projector to change the image while taking into account what happens between the two stages. While the motor moves and the lights change color. So you can create different kinds of continuous transitions between the stages.
This applies to every discussion about digital/analog of course.
But yeah, discussion, is a movie continuous or is it frames p/s?
Other displays could vary! A display capable of incrementally updating the picture could show motion as a series of changes without there actually being a frame, just deltas... Done quickly, this would approximate what the human eye does.
In the context of this process, "frame" would refer to the changes to the projected image. Each of those changes would be a "frame"
But, if the object being rendered is actually in motion during the cure, there will be interpolation between those "frames", resulting in a very analog like product.
The motion would be "frames" too, as each micro-step would presumably be a controlled atomic thing, but those movements would not necessarily need to be keyed to the changes in the projected image.
Take both of those up in terms of rates and precision, and it's all going to blend together, particularly as both push the material to it's change rate limits.
Think "motion blur" when motion exceeds capture rates, or in the case of analog film, where reality "smears" onto the film while a shutter is open.
I still think the biggest thing stopping adoption is most people not having any idea what to print on a 3D printer, even if buying, operating, calibrating and maintaining one was cheap and easy.
You can't mass deploy printing kiosks at consumer stores if it takes four hours to make a mug or a trinket (you can, but it's absurd). If it takes five minutes you can and people will buy all sorts of custom products that way.
Someone on Reddit mentioned it taking 20 hours to print half a skull. That's ridiculous. This will do it in probably 20 or 30 minutes, and it'll likely get faster with improvements in the next couple of years.
I agree that having a massive increase in speed is cool, but the materials range for UV cured stuff isn't that high. If we are talking wishlists, I'd rather have plastics and metals in one print and be taking a few hours, than a UV cured object in minutes, but that is because of the applications I am interested in. I do think this tech is very very cool though, especially given the detail level you can get at that speed.
I can see shipping container type units fitted internally with multiple 3D printer types that are basically little mobile factories. Any part you need (withing certain volume and material limitations) can be produced on demand. These could easily be transported to remote locations to fully support all kinds of activities.
I swear, I was born 100 years too early.
You could do the shipping container version now, using existing prototyping tech and some well thought out robots to move parts between processes.
I suspect you can get most of them in one box though, and this will be becoming mainstream within ten years to fifteen.
I got to meet the software side of the Carbon3D team (and printer) not too long ago, and came away extremely impressed.
Scroll down slightly to reveal top menu bar
Animation at the top
Scroll down and a left frame of animation appears, while allowing scrollable text on the right.
Scroll down more, left animation disappears, and we find an embedded Youtube video.
Where can one read more about this type of design, such as online tutorials and the like?
As runner up to the coolest 3d printing technology I've seen recently, check out the Mcor Iris:
When this thing's on the market you'll be all "Oh, but the second generation one prints 4x faster and can do color! I'll wait for that."
The website is inaccurate in some aspects but this new top down approach could change the 3D printing industry. Maybe it could also make 3d printers cheaper because less mechanical parts are needed.
More tests and hopefully faster printing to follow
speed seems to be a factor - i think SLA printers are limited by resin curing time under UV light.
perhaps this is more a resin technology than a printer technology.
they do keep mentioning oxygen - but it's not clear why
(1) I'm sure there will still be some directional effects in the result---the light is only coming from one direction, for example. But you definitely shouldn't expect to see the "sandwich stacks" effect you get from extrusion-filament 3D printing.
Is it a UV-transmissible siloxane window of some kind?
Nanovaccines that can change in response to mutating threats...
I feel like I have understood the importance of 3D printing for the very first time which makes sense, I have tended to be a little slow.
As to the precision of Carbon3D, the best I can figure based on their recent publication is printed layers as small as 1µm. That's pretty darn good resolution for a 3D printer.
I found this whole thread very exciting, I as down-voted into oblivion very quickly so I stopped sharing my thoughts but my mind ran on for a while...
Self-healing machines, buildings and devices also sprang to mind.
Basically, if the printer is small enough to be a part of the object and there were a way of determining what it needs to print then the object need never be broken (for very long) in fact: the object doesn't even need to be defined as a cup, a pair of trousers, a bicycle. If the printer can embed itself into anything it prints then it could literally morph according to a given requirement.
...I'll stop now.