Carbon Aims for Mass 3D Printing with Materials Program
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on September 26, 2017 |
Carbon has launched a materials program to sell large volumes of resin for large-scale manufacturing...

In time for the TCT Show in Birmingham, UK, from September 26-28, Carbon has announced a new materials program meant for high-volume manufacturers, as well as a new resin dispensing system. The program sees Carbon’s 3D printing resins sold in bulk packages with a 40 percent price reduction. The company will be starting with its rigid polyurethane material, RPU 70, and will be selling the material at $150 per liter, a $100 reduction from the current $250 per liter standard pricing model.

Through its global supply chain and new methods for dispensing and distributing resins to a fleet of 3D printers, Carbon hopes to drop this price tag even further to less than $100 per liter over the next year. This global growth includes Carbon’s operations in Europe, where it has partnered with Citim and Oechsler in Germany, and Fast Radius and Paragon in the UK.

Along with the bulk pricing model, Carbon is releasing its MMD (meter, mix and dispense) resin dispensing system. Developed in partnership with adhesive, sealant and coatings developer Henkel Adhesive Technologies, the MMD is an accessory that dispenses RPU 70 in bulk quantities. 

Prototype parts 3D printed by The Technology House with Carbon’s CLIP technology for Alta Motors. (Image courtesy of Carbon.)
Prototype parts 3D printed by The Technology House with Carbon’s CLIP technology for Alta Motors. (Image courtesy of Carbon.)

The announcement reflects Carbon’s intention to position its Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) as a mass production technology. With its SpeedCell 3D printing package, the company outlined plans in which multiple M2 3D printers could work with a Smart Part Washer system for automated part processing. 

The Futurecraft 4D shoe, which features a 3D-printed midsole made using Carbon technology. (Image courtesy of adidas.)
The Futurecraft 4D shoe, which features a 3D-printed midsole made using Carbon technology. (Image courtesy of adidas.)

Earlier this year, it was announced that Carbon and adidas would be working together to make 3D printing for mass production a reality. Using Carbon’s quick printing DLS technology, adidas aims to mass produce midsoles for 100,000 pairs of Futurecraft 4D shoes by the end of 2018. adidas has, according to Carbon, committed to using hundreds of thousands of liters of liquid resin for the Futurecraft 4D project.

Ford has also said that it will be increasing its use of Carbon’s technology. “Ford shares Carbon’s vision of 3D manufacturing and is actively working with Carbon to accelerate the implementation for automotive applications,” said Ken Washington, vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering and chief technology officer, Ford Motor Company.

“This production volume materials approach will allow us to ensure that our partners like adidas, which will be printing thousands or millions of parts, can do so economically compared to other manufacturing methods such as injection molding,” said Carbon CEO and Cofounder Joseph M. DeSimone. “No other 3D printing company has offered this because they do not have the combination of a complete system for 3D manufacturing combined with first-class materials that enable additive manufacturing at scale. Carbon now does offer that complete package.”

As the industry strives toward a future of mass customization made possible with 3D printing, Carbon is situating itself as a leading player. While the California startup previously had speed and materials on its side, it is now working on scale. Adding to the hearing aid and invisible dental alignment markets, we may soon see midsoles and other goods made with 3D printing.

To learn more, visit the Carbon website or, if you’re at the TCT show, stop by the company’s booth. 

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