3D printing is already an amazing new technology that is on the cutting edge of hi-tech manufacturing. Nevertheless, the technology is becoming even more astounding. In Redwood City, California, a new company, Carbon, has expanded on the technology to improve its output significantly as Jack Clark reports (“An Object Rises from the Goop” Bloomberg Businessweek, 4/4/16–5/10/16, pp. 33–34):
“Using new materials, hardware, and software, Carbon’s printer, the M1, fires UV light at its syrupy resins to produce prototypes and production parts that can be more bouncy, stiff, tough, or heat-resistant than rival products, printing at speeds competitors can’t match.” (p. 33)
These technical changes allow Carbon to perform more of a continuous building process as opposed to printing one layer at a time. The UV light curing step enhances final product strength and durability. Several other companies observing the amazing success of this new process are now becoming clients. Carbon now offers an annual subscription service for the M1 printer.
Carbon’s story illustrates one of the enduring, intrinsic aspects of science and technology: no matter how good the process is today, tomorrow will only make it better.