3D Printing: design driving technology.

Pete TomlinsonGraphic and Motion Designer
28.10.2015
 

In my last post, I focused on technology driving design by highlighting the G3DP by Mediated Matter, a 3D printer that has opened up new avenues in design and manufacturing with glass.

In this post, I am focusing on the other side of the coin – design driving technology.

The process of 3D printing, as exciting as it is, still has 3 fundamental flaws, highlighted by Joseph M. DeSimone from Carbon3D in his fascinating TED Talk, in Vancouver March 2015.

The three issues that are holding back 3D printing are:

  • Time
  • Defects in the layer by layer process
  • Material options are limited

Carbon3D have made steps in reducing these faults by designing and inventing Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP).

Inspired by Hollywood’s Terminator 2, (the scene where the villain rises out of a pool of liquid to become a solid) CLIP brings a “fresh perspective to the challenges of 3D printing”.

This fresh perspective is to harness light and oxygen.

Light can take a liquid and turn it solid, while oxygen inhibits the process. Light solidifies the resin, and oxygen keeps it from solidifying. By carefully balancing the interaction of the two fundamental variables, a 3D structure can continuously grow from a pool of resin.

The process starts by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window that is transparent to light, much like a contact lens, into a reservoir of UV curable resin. From here the oxygen flux is controlled, leaving a layer of uncured resin between the window and object.

This allows the object to continuously grow as the build platform rises following a sequence of UV projections.

The process starts by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window that is transparent to light, much like a contact lens, into a reservoir of UV curable resin. From here the oxygen flux is controlled, leaving a layer of uncured resin between the window and object.

Diagram

See CLIP at work here.

CLIP moves beyond the limitations of a 3D printer, whilst addressing the three defects by improving the speed, quality and expanding material options. As a results the process is 25-100 times faster than traditional 3D printing techniques which “…require a number of mechanical steps, repeated over and over again in a layer-by-layer approach. CLIP is a chemical process that eliminates the mechanical steps and the layers.”

This process gives anyone the opportunity to design and produce commercial quality parts at game-changing speeds creating a clear path to 3D manufacturing. DeSimone looks forward to seeing is what designers and engineers can create when using CLIP, which is a great example of design driving technology, and as DeSimone points out, technology then fuelling new design directions.

This process gives anyone the opportunity to design and produce commercial quality parts at game- changing speeds, creating a clear path to 3D manufacturing.

Something DeSimone looks forward to seeing is what designers and engineers can create when using CLIP, which is an example of design driving technology and as he points out, can then fuel new design directions.

 

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