In one of the most eagerly awaited developments in the additive manufacturing world Carbon has released details of it's first commercially available system utilising the CLIP platform — the M1. First shown to the world during Joseph DeSimone's now legendary TED Talk, CLIP offers not only unparalleled speed but also an excellent platform for the company's materials developments efforts.
Beyond the technology, the company has also announced a subscription model that demonstrates how "Carbon is taking a new approach to capital equipment sales." More details are needed here but it's certainly something that many companies will welcome, as many CapEx budgets have never recovered to their pre-financial crisis levels.
Let's look at the full press release below:
REDWOOD CITY, CA – April 1, 2016 – Carbon (Carbon3D, Inc.) today unveiled the M1, its first commercial 3D printer. The M1 leverages Carbon’s breakthrough Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology and engineering-grade materials to deliver on the promise of 3D printing. While traditional approaches to additive manufacturing make trade-offs between surface finish and mechanical properties, the M1 produces high-resolution parts with engineering-grade mechanical properties and surface finish. Carbon’s product solution and subscription pricing model represent an important step on the company’s journey to accelerate the future of manufacturing.
“We’re excited to unveil our M1 machine and ground-breaking materials,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-Founder of Carbon. “This product lays the groundwork for addressing major gaps in additive manufacturing as we work with our customers to continually innovate and push the boundaries of product design and production.”
The M1 delivers a comprehensive solution for the next era of design and manufacturing. For the first time, product designers and engineers can produce parts that have the resolution, surface finish and mechanical properties required for both functional prototyping and production-quality parts. Internet-connected and data-rich, the M1 collects over one million process control data points per day. This makes it possible for Carbon to provide precise remote diagnostics, assist with print optimization, and improve print quality over time. An internet-connected architecture ensures the latest features, performance enhancements and resins are always available to users, while the browser-based interface enables printer operation inside a network without the hassle of software installs or compatibility problems.
As part of the M1 product unveil, Carbon is introducing seven proprietary resins, enabling the use of complex chemistries to create parts with a range of mechanical properties. Parts produced using Carbon’s breakthrough materials perform similarly to injection-molded alternatives, and are suitable for a range of applications.
The new resins include:
1. RPU: Carbon offers a family of three Rigid Polyurethanes. RPUs are Carbon’s stiffest and most versatile polyurethane based resin. They perform well under stress, combining strength, stiffness, and toughness. These properties make RPU particularly useful for consumer electronics, automotive, and industrial components where excellent mechanical properties are needed.
2. FPU: Flexible Polyurethane is a semi-rigid material with good impact, abrasion and fatigue resistance. This versatile material was designed for applications that require the toughness to withstand repetitive stresses such as hinging mechanisms and friction fits.
3. EPU: Elastomeric Polyurethane is a high performance polymeric elastomer. It exhibits excellent elastic behavior under cyclic tensile and compressive loads. EPU is useful for demanding applications where high elasticity, impact and tear resistance are needed such as cushioning, gaskets, and seals.
4. CE: Cyanate Ester-based resin is a high performance material with heat deflection temperatures up to 219°C [426°F]. Marked by excellent strength, stiffness and long-term thermal stability, CE is useful for under-the-hood applications, electronics, and industrial components.
5. PR: Prototyping Resin prints quickly, has excellent resolution, and performs well enough to withstand moderate functional testing. It is available in six colors — cyan, magenta, yellow, black, white, and gray. These colors can also be mixed to create custom colors.
Industry First Subscription Model
Committed to future proofing customers and providing continual improvement over time, Carbon is taking a new approach to capital equipment sales, making the M1 available via a unique subscription-pricing model. The annual cost includes a hands-on service team, dedicated to anticipating and addressing customer needs. Carbon leverages its internet-connected software architecture to collect operational data and deliver a predictive service model, seamless machine updates, and exceptional user experience.
Over the last year, Carbon has been working with select early customers in industries as varied as automotive, aerospace, medical, and athletic apparel. Customers, including Ford, Johnson & Johnson, BMW and more, have already tested parts in high-stress production applications, such as automobile engines and interiors. The M1 is being used to shorten product development cycles, address new lightweight, high-strength geometries, and produce customized medical devices.
Please contact us or visit our website if you would like more information about the M1, Carbon materials and CLIP technology.
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The five classes of available materials makes the M1 an immediately appealing prospect to potential users in a number of industries, whether they are looking for rigid, semi-rigid, flexible parts or to make use of Carbon's Cyanate Ester material — which marks a sea change in 3D printed materials properties. I can see the Prototyping Resin, combined with the speed of the CLIP process, making a lot of product development teams sit up and take notice.
This story will be updated.