3D Printing, Terminator 2-Style

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Remember the T-1000 from Terminator 2, the villainous robot able to form itself from liquid metal? Mystery startup Carbon3D emerges from stealth mode to reveal a 3D printing technology inspired by that same sequence.

Carbon 3D printerThe technology, dubbed Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), is stunning to simply to look at-- an arm extracts objects, seemingly fully formed, straight out of a puddle of colourful goo. How does it do it? While regular 3D printers build objects layer-by-layer, CLIP uses light and oxygen to "cure" a photosensitive liquid resin, thus creating objects in a "true" 3D manner.

Essentially, light cures the resin while oxygen keeps it from going solid. A transparent and permeable window controls the exact amount light and oxygen the resin comes in contact with, creating "dead zones" through which printer produces cross sectional images of the object in question.

The process, according to the company, is faster (by up to 25-100 times), works with a broad variety of materials, and allows for the creation of sturdier and more sophisticated objects. To prove this, one of the objects printed by Carbon3D is a geometric ball too complex for regular 3D printers to handle.

“Current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionize manufacturing,” Carbon3D says. “Our CLIP technology offers the game-changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts.”

Carbon3D is coy with further details on the technology, but it is already working on an actual commercial product.

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