Carbon is raising a $200 million Series D to scale 3D printing for manufacturing

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Carbon is raising a $200 million Series D to scale 3D printing for manufacturing

Its hard to get a much better poster child for your 3D printing company than Futurecraft 4D. Adidass line of custom 3D sneakers are all you really need to know when it comes to 3D printings potential as a manufacturing powerhouse.Bay Area-based Carbonhas been bringing that technology to life courtesy of its proprietary Digital Light Synthesis technology, which is able to print out at a much more rapid clip than traditional methods.

This morning, the company announced that the first closing in a $200 million Series D, courtesy of a mix of investors, including Fidelity, General Electric and Hydra Ventures, Adidass somewhat ominously named investment arm.

Whats quite clear is we have momentum with a lot of customers, Carbon co-founder and CEO Joseph DeSimone said on a call with TechCrunch this week. This idea of 3D manufacturing is coming to bear. Were making millions of pairs of shoes with [Adidas], and as we do that, were learning a lot about what it takes to manufacture [] This is going to allow us to really step on the gas and support our customers, both in the US and outside.

The Adidas deal is far and away the most public facing of Carbons current applications. TheFuturecraft lineis starting off small at 5,000 pairs in its initial run, but things are ramping up quickly, demonstrating the technologys scalability over more traditional 3D printing technologies like FDM.

DeSimone says the companies plan to be printing out shoes in the hundreds of thousands of pairs next year. That number could jump to the millions in 2019, aided by a relatively small number of the companys machines. This latest, massive round of funding (which will bring the companys total up to $420 million), will be used to expand the technologys footprint into other categories like consumer electronics, medical and dental, which has already proven a popular application for the technology.

Weve invented something fundamentally different that has the ability to scale, says DeSimone. Its really taken off because of the progress our customers have made.

3D printing has been a long sought after technology for manufacturing, for its ability to create unique, customized products. Unlike its desktop counterpart, which has stagnated somewhat in recent years, additive manufacturing is still very much a focus for many investors.

But the tech has long had issues with speed and scalability. Carbons success have been relatively modest on these fronts, but are impressive nonetheless. And a big injection of funding could be what the tech really needs to accelerate.

Carbon is a Silicon Valley-based company working at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science to deliver on the promise of additive manufacturing. The company empowers its customers and partners to evolve beyond using 3D printing for basic prototyping to producing at scale by revolutionizing how they design, engineer, make and deliver their products. With Carbons Digital Light

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Super Fast Carbon 3D Printer

Carbon(Carbon3D, Inc.), a 3D printing company just unveiled their new M1 3D printing machine that prints at incredible speeds by using a revolutionary new technique.

The M1 is a revolutionary new 3D printer directed towards prototype development and low-volume manufacturing. The developers at Carbon ensure that the M1 uses the best technology developed by the most prestigious engineers to create and provide a seamless printing machine that is not limited to the outrageous times that other printers are often hindered by. Traditional 3D printers take hours to develop one prototype using a laser to print layer by layer, followed by another process which refines the plastic into a cleaner, more accurate shape. Overall, it is okay for prototyping, but extremely impractical for manufacturing.

The Carbon M1 makes use of a completely new revolutionary technique that uses projections into a liquid to solidify a resin, which creates an object that appears to grow out of the liquid.

The M1 provides a seamless product that provides engineers a first-time opportunity to produce parts with high resolution and a clean surface finish, as well as all the mechanical properties imperative for prototyping and manufacturing high-quality products. Carbon has designed a new process that projects an image onto the bottom of the resin, causing a chemical reaction that solidifies the substance in the immediate area and allows the object to be printed from the bottom up, instead of in endless painstaking circles. Carbons process cuts down the time from hours to just15 minutes.

The3D printer uses breakthrough technology which makes use of their Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP)  which uses their engineering-grade materials to create, design, and exceed the expectations of even the most prestigious printers- and it can do it in much less time.  So far, Carbon has receivedUS$141 millionin funding to create their 3D printer, which was unveiled at the same time as their CLIP technology atTED 2015.

Were 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 3D printer rolled out to customers on April 1st for US$40,000 a month rental. Although the price is steep, Carbon provides repair services and lessons on how to use the revolutionary new machine. It functions on both built-in and cloud-based servers where its onboard GBU further enhances its performance with ease and practicality, as well as providing real-time feedback on exactly what it is doing.

Carbon hopes the M1 will provide a new industry standard in 3D printing and manufacturing, providing high-quality parts that can be made quickly and cost-effectively.

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Carbon3D Introduces CLIP Breakthrough Technology for Layerless 3D Printing Business Wire

Harnesses light + oxygen to grow commercial quality parts at game-changing speeds

Partners with Sequoia and Silver Lake Kraftwerk and raises $41 million

A video highlighting Carbon3Ds Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP). 7X speed. This part takes traditional 3D printers anywhere from 3-10 hours to print; CLIP does it in just over 6 minutes.

A video highlighting Carbon3Ds Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP). 7X speed. This part takes traditional 3D printers anywhere from 3-10 hours to print; CLIP does it in just over 6 minutes.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Carbon3D today emerged from stealth on the main stage of theTED conferencewith an innovative approach to polymer-based 3D printing that promises to advance the industry beyond basic prototyping to 3D manufacturing. The new Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP) harnesses light and oxygen to continuously grow objects from a pool of resin instead of printing them layer-by-layer. The technology was simultaneously introduced to the scientific community as the cover story in the journalScience.Carbon3DsCLIP technology raises the state-of-the-art in 3D printing in three ways:

GAME-CHANGING SPEED: 25-100 times faster than conventional 3D printing

COMMERCIAL QUALITY: produces objects with consistent mechanical properties

MATERIAL CHOICE: enables a broad range of polymeric materials

Current 3D printing technology has failed to deliver on its promise to revolutionize manufacturing, said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-Founder, Carbon3D. Our CLIP technology offers the game-changing speed, consistent mechanical properties and choice of materials required for complex commercial quality parts.

Existing 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, technology is really just 2D printing, over and over again. As a result, 3D printed parts take many hours, even days, to produce and are mechanically weak due to their shale-like layers. Using a tunable photochemical process instead of the traditional mechanical approach, Carbon3Ds layerless continuous liquid interface production technology (CLIP) eliminates these shortcomings to rapidly transform 3D models into physical objects. By carefully balancing the interaction of UV light, which triggers photo polymerization, and oxygen, which inhibits the reaction, CLIP continuously grows objects from a pool of resin at speeds 25-100 times faster than traditional 3D printing.

At the heart of the CLIP process is a special window that is transparent to light and permeable to oxygen, much like a contact lens. By controlling the oxygen flux through the window, CLIP creates a dead zone in the resin pool just tens of microns thick (about 2-3 diameters of a red blood cell) where photopolymerization cannot occur. As a series of cross-sectional images of a 3D model is played like a movie into the resin pool from underneath, the physical object emerges continuously from just above the dead zone. Conventionally made 3D printed parts are notorious for having mechanical properties that vary depending on the direction the parts were printed because of the layer-by-layer approach. Much more like injection-molded parts, CLIP produces consistent and predictable mechanical properties, smooth on the outside and solid on the inside.

Carbon3D also announced it had partnered with Sequoia Capital to lead the companys Series A round of financing in 2013 along with Northgate Partners, Piedmont Capital Partners and Wakefield Group. Silver Lake Kraftwerk led the Series B round of financing in 2014 with Northgate Capital and Sequoia Capital, for a total raise of $41 million to commercialize the technology.

If 3D printing hopes to break out of the prototyping niche it has been trapped in for decades, we need to find a disruptive technology that attacks the problem from a fresh perspective and addresses 3D printings fundamental weaknesses, said Jim Goetz, Carbon3D board member and Sequoia partner. When we met Joe and saw what his team had invented, it was immediately clear to us that 3D printing would never be the same.

We had studied the additive manufacturing ecosystem comprehensively and had concluded that the promise far exceeded the current reality in the marketplace, said Adam Grosser, Carbon3D board member and Managing Director at Silver Lake Kraftwerk. When we witnessed the CLIP process, we believed we had found a company that had invented a solution to speed, quality, and material selection. We are proud to work alongside Carbon3D to create a new category of 3D manufacturing.

Carbon3D, a Silicon Valley based company, was founded in 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC. Working at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science, Carbon3D is delivering on the promise of 3D printing, allowing commercial customers to go beyond prototyping to achieve 3D manufacturing. The Continuous Liquid Interface Production technology (CLIP) was originally developed by Professor Joseph DeSimone, Professor Edward Samulski, and Dr. Alex Ermoshkin and introduced simultaneously at TED 2015 and to the scientific community (Science, 2015). Since its inception, Carbon3D has partnered with Sequoia Capital to lead the companys Series A round of financing in 2013 along with Northgate Partners, Piedmont Capital Partners and Wakefield Group. Silver Lake Kraftwerk led the Series B round of financing in 2014 with Northgate Capital and Sequoia Capital, for a total raise of $41 million to date.

TheSequoiateam helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of whats possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons weve learned over 40 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQs total value. Were proud that their success also fuels great causes: since 2000 alone we have returned more than $10 billion to non-profits like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT.

Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing, with over $23 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital. The firms portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $85 billion of revenue annually and employs more than 200,000 people globally. Silver Lake has a team of approximately 110 investment and value creation professionals located in New York, Menlo Park, San Mateo, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. The firms portfolio includes or has included leading technology and technology-enabled businesses such as Alibaba, Ameritrade, Avago, BlackLine Systems, Dell, Gartner, Global Blue, Go Daddy, IDC, Instinet, MCI, MEDSEEK, Mercury Payment Systems, Multiplan, the NASDAQ OMX Group, Quorum, Sabre, SolarCity, Skype, SMART Modular, SunGard Data Systems, Virtu and William Morris Endeavor. For more information about Silver Lake and its entire portfolio, please visit

Media ContactCarbon3DKristine Relja,

Media ContactCarbon3DKristine Relja,

3D printing with carbon and graphite

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Carbon in Surface Heating and Cooling

From Fibers to Finished Composite Components

3D Printing with Carbon and Graphite

Coatings and Surface Modification of Carbon Based Materials

Carbon Fibers with Special Properties

Porous Electrode Materials and Catalyst Supports

Carbon in Surface Heating and Cooling

From Fibers to Finished Composite Components

3D printing with carbon and graphite

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has gained a foothold in many industries both in prototype production, and to some extent in small scale serial production. Plastic and metal are the most common materials for 3D printing. Our current approach is to print 3D components using carbon and graphite, thus combining the advantages of 3D printing with the specific properties of our materials.

To further enhance the properties of 3D printed carbon, a number of finishing processes (polymer impregnation, etc.) can be used.

We offer customized parts, made from tailor formulated materials, with intelligent design, to add value to your applications. CARBOPRINT is our brand for carbon and graphite based 3D printed components.

Our raw materials and refining processes allow the properties of carbon based parts to be altered from porous to dense, from conductive to insulating, and from abrasion-resistant to sliding. Further details can be found in our brochure.

Production constraints have always played a role in the design of components. With 3D printing, a new freedom of design is possible, enabling free-form surfaces to be realized. Parts can be designed for optimal function without making compromises for manufacturing restraints, such as with conventional production methods like turning, drilling or CNC milling.

3D printing allows multiple components to be re-designed into one single part, thus reducing complexity. Bonding techniques, such as gluing or screwing, or additional sealing components, can be avoided. Reverse engineering and spare part production can be realized quickly.

Carbon composite parts can be produced economically in small series by means of 3D printing. Since no additional or specialized tools are required for a 3D printed part, production costs can be reduced.

3D printing can shorten development time so that new products reach the market faster. SGL Group is here to help you to bring new products to the market faster than ever.

3D printed carbon molds or lost cores

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Together we can develop the optimal solution for your application. Contact us!

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Carbon 3D Printing Named Top 50 Company by MIT Tech Review

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The Best 3D Printing File LIbraries

Carbon 3D Printing Named Top 50 Company by MIT Tech Review

Posted by3DPrint360 StaffonJune 24, 2016

Along with Amazon, Tesla and First Solar, 3d printing startup Carbon has been named one of the 50 Smartest Companies of 2016 by MIT Technology Review.

Carbon has promised to drastically increase the speed of 3d printing, which wouldallow automakers, aerospace firms and countless other brands to produce prototypes and end use goods at a faster pace, saving millions of dollars.

Carbon has developed a new technique based on stereolithography that it says is as much as 100 times faster than rivals 3-D printing methods and fast enough to be used in place of injection molding to produce certain parts, Technology Reviewwrites.  Carbon will face competition from HP, which has its own new printing technology based on a different class of materials. But the startup is backed by some high-powered investors, including Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Silver Lake Kraftwerk, and its board members include the former CEOs of Ford and DuPont.

While the build volume of Carbon is limited at 5.6 x 3.1 x 12.9 (in), and the cost to get up and running with the printer approaches $65,000 for the first year, the printer has excited both the 3d printing industry and those outside of it, particularly those that can benefit from short and medium run production of parts with Carbons new technology.

Carbon3Ds CLIP technology has allowed us to realize our need for high-speed, high-quality printing of actual automotive-grade parts, said Raj Nair, Chief Technology Officer at Ford We are excited to further our relationship and look forward to innovating together to make 3D manufacturing a reality.

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Carbon (company

) is atechnology companyandmanufacturerfounded in June 11, 2014 byJosephand Philip DeSimone, based inRedwood City, California. It manufactures and develops3D printersutilizing theContinuous Liquid Interface Production(CLIP) process, with their first commercial product being the Carbon M1 Printer.

The company was started on June 11, 2014 byJosephand Philip DeSimone. In March 2015, Joseph gave aTEDtalk which showed a preview of a3D printerprototype usingContinuous Liquid Interface Production(CLIP), with a scene inTerminator 2: Judgement Daywas cited as the inspiration for the technology.[1]AfterAutodeskfunded $10 million towards Carbon in June,[2]Ford Motor Companyannounced a partnership with the company, as well as joining Carbons early access program for their printers.[3]Legacy Effectswas given the technology to use forTerminator Genisys, as well asDelphi Automotive, and former FordCEOandjoined theboard of directorswithin the same month.[4][5][6]In July, the company also raised $70 million inequityfunding,[7]and in an interview withThe Motley Fool, Joseph stated more capabilities and features of CLIP.[8]

On August, the company raised over $100 million in aSeries Cfunding round, which was led byGVand including other investors Yuri Milner,Reinet Investments, and F.I.S. Others includingSequoia CapitalSilver Lake Kraftwerk, and Northgate Capital were noted at the time as existing investors, and Paul DiLaura, formerDassault SystmesManaging Director, joined as Vice President of Sales.[9][10]The company was subsequently named the Technology Pioneer by theWorld Economic Forumwithin August as well.[11]

On January 2016,Johnson & Johnsonannounced a partnership with Carbon to create custom surgical devices.[12]In March,Kodakalso announced a partnership with Carbon to produce materials for its printers, while Josh Green, aSilicon Valley-based entrepreneur, joined as a General Counsel.[13][14]On April, the company announced the commercial printer, the M1. Valerie Buckingham, a former Microsoft marketing executive, joined as Vice President of Marketing in May.[15]On August, it was announced thatservice bureausDinsmore Inc and Midwest Prototyping would offer the M1 and Carbons services.[16]In September, the company collected $81.1 million, attracting companiesGE VenturesBMWNikonand JSR, with both Nikon and JSR planning to help Carbon enter the Japanese market, while BMW andGeneral Electricannounced its incorporation of the M1 in their German facilities.[17]On November, BMW joined the early access program.[18]

TheCarbon M23D printer can produce parts larger than the original M1 Printer, up to 189mm x 118mm x326mm, with the same 75m resolution.

TheCarbon M13D printer can produce parts sized up to 144 x 81 x 330mm, with the light engine displayLEDuses 75m pixels. The company is leasing the platform on a yearly basis and companies, such as BMW, Ford, and Legacy Effects, have already had access to the technology, including on a project involvingGenisyscollectibles.[19]The printer supports using a variety of resin materials including some already in production commercial applications.[20]

Invented by EJ Sabathia, Ian Craven, and Ryan M Schaub, this machine washes parts produced with the CLIP process.

Joseph DeSimone (2015-03-19).What if 3D printing was 100x faster?TED Talks

Terdiman, Daniel (9 April 2015).Autodesks 3D printing fund puts $10M in Carbon3D, maker of faster 3D printing tech.

Vanian, Jonathan (23 June 2015).Why Ford is partnering with a hot 3D printing startup.

Wheeler, Andrew (22 June 2015).Legacy Effects Uses Carbon3D Printer for Progressive Ad & Terminator: Genisys.

McKenna, Beth (20 June 2015).Can Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally Help Drive Carbon3D to the Front of the 3D Printing Company Pack?.

Molitch-Hou, Michael (3 June 2016).Automotive Giant Delphi Leverages Carbon 3D Printing for Prototyping and More.

Dale, Brady (29 July 2015).Carbon3D Raises $70M While Kabam Lays Off 25.

McKenna, Beth (2 May 2015).Carbon3D CEO Interview: Materials Are Key to Breakthrough CLIP 3D Printing Technology.

Magee, Christine (20 August 2015).With $100M In Funding, Carbon3D Will Make 3D Manufacturing A RealityTechCrunch

Paul DiLaura Joins Carbon As VP Of Sales.

Carbon3D Named Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.

Molitch-Hou, Michael (25 January 2016).Johnson & Johnson Taps Carbon 3D for Medical 3D Printing.

Scott, Clare (11 March 2016).Carbons Kodak Moment: Partnership Will Develop New Materials for CLIP 3D Printing Technology.

Legendary Silicon Valley Deal Maker, Josh Green, Joins Carbon As General Counsel.

Former Microsoft Marketing Head, Valerie Buckingham, Joins Carbon as Vice President of Marketing.

Carbon Builds Customer Portfolio With Two Leading Service Bureau Partners Further Expanding Access to CLIP Technology.

Tilley, Aaron (15 September 2016).BMW And GE Invest $80 Million Into Carbon To Bring 3D Printing To Mass Manufacturing.

25 years of 3D printing at the BMW Group: pioneers in additive manufacturing methods.

Chemists 3-D printer could open doors for manufacturing revolutionCBS News. 2016-04-12

Fameli, Joey et the Carbon M1 Super Fast 3D Printer. Adam SavagesTested.com

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Kodak Partners With Carbon 3D for 3D Printing Material Development

Several companies, includingFordLegacy EffectsJohnson & Johnsonas well as anumber of service providershave teamed up with California-based 3D printing startup Carbon 3D. Now, American technology company Kodak has joined their ranks.

Following their dominant position in photographic film, Kodak has turned its focus on digital printing and graphics for businesses in the past few years. Together with Carbon 3D, the company will work on materials development for new opportunities of the ultra fastCLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production)3D printing technology. The joint development agreement sees Kodaks long-standing experience in material formulation and integration into complex systems compliment Carbons material development capabilities.

Dr. Joseph DeSimone,CEOand Co-Founder of Carbon looks forward to their partnership: We are excited to have Kodak as a partner as we continue to bring our technology to an array of industries including automotive, aerospace, athletic shoes and life sciences. This collaboration further proves our dedication to the development of breakthrough additive materials.

Together, Carbon and Kodak are well positioned to develop and expand market opportunities for CLIP-based additive manufacturing, said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. Kodak is a world leader in materials development and we are excited to be working with an innovative and progressive company like Carbon.

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Best 3D Printer Materials Carbon Fiber Edition

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Best 3D Printer Materials: Carbon Fiber Edition

Michael Molitch-Houposted on August 23, 201634802 views

If the $7-billion 3D printing industry is going to grab a substantial share of the trillion-dollar manufacturing market, the technology will have to evolve both in terms of theprocessesthemselves and the materials they use. While Carbon and HP are demonstrating that the processes are catching up to and may even supersede conventional manufacturing methods, 3D printing still has a lot of progress to make in terms of adapting materials found in traditional production for additive manufacturing (AM).

Materials are being adapted, however, as numerous chemical companies, from DuPont to Eastman, jump into the growing 3D printing materials market, estimated to reach $8.3 billion by 2025according to market research company IDTechExPhotopolymerscurrently occupy the largest market share of 3D printing materials, but, in order to compete with traditional manufacturing, composite materials will be essential to making 3D printing a viable technology for replacing conventional processes.

And, when it comes to composites, one of the most important for the manufacturing industry is carbon fiberreinforced materials. Carbon fiber reinforcement can provide added strength to a part while maintaining a lighter weight, making it a cost-effective alternative to metals like titanium. In turn, the material is used in areas in which weight and strength are of critical importance, such as in the aerospace or performance automotive industries.

As it stands, however, there are only a handful of methods for introducing this lightweight yet strong material into existing 3D printing processes. Here, we relay all of the known efforts underway to bring carbon fiber composites to the layer-by-layer world of AM. Hold on to your seats! Were about to enter the high-performance world of carbon fiber reinforcement.

Cotton may be the fabric of our lives, but since the 1970s, carbon fiber has started to become the fabric of our industrial manufacturing operations. Though it may be most used in the aerospace industry, the material has been increasingly leveraged in automotive, sporting goods, civil engineering and electronics spaces.

Numerous aerospace manufacturers have been implementing carbon fiber reinforcement in manufacturing due to the materials high strength-to-weight ratio. While still strong, carbon fiber can be used to replace metal parts, reducing the weight of the aircraft and thus also reducing the fuel required to fly an aircraft. Until the construction of the newAirbus A350 XWB, which is made up of 52 percent carbon fiberreinforced polymer (CFRP) components, theBoeing 787 Dreamlinerhad the highest amount of CFRP parts, constituting 50 percent of the aircraft.

Performance automobiles heavily feature carbon fiber reinforcement, but due to the price of the material, CFRP parts have been slow to make their way into most mass-produced vehicles. For that reason, youll more likely see carbon fiber reinforcement used inracecarsthan in a four-door sedan. That being said, manufacturers are attempting to introduce CFRP components intomainstream cars, such asthe BMW i3, which features a largely CFRP chassis.

If you are a serious cyclist, your bike may well have a carbon fiber bike frame. If you are driving across abridge, it might be reinforced with carbon fiber, sometimes applied when retrofitting old structures. If youre carrying a tennis racket or catching a wave on a surfboard, theres a good chance you are doing it with the help of carbon fiber. If you have microelectrodes in your pocket for measuring dopamine concentrations,thoseare made with carbon fiber, too.

Invented by various engineers in the late 19th century, carbon fibers are made up of individual strands of carbon atoms about 5 to 10 microns thick. About90 percentof carbon fibers are made by heating up a polymer called polyacrylonitrile (PAN) in several stages until it sheds all atoms, including hydrogen and nitrogen, but the carbon atoms.

Outside of this PAN process, roughly 10 percent of carbon fiber is produced through a pitch process, which involves the heating of plants, crude oil or coal into agelatinous materialand thendepositing it over a cooling wheelbefore applying subsequent procedures. While PAN-made carbon fiber, known as turbostratic carbon fibers, has a high tensile strength, carbon fibers made via the latter process have a high stiffness and thermal conductivity.

While the carbon fiber can be wound up into a reel, known as a tow, and used itself, it is more frequently woven into sheets and combined with a polymer to form carbon fiberreinforced composites. In this case, the resinous polymer, often called a matrix, acts as a binder that binds the carbon fiber to or within the end part. These matrix materials, often thermoset plastics, can vary from nylon and polyether ether keytone (PEEK) to Kevlar and polyester.

The process of creating carbon fiberreinforced plastic/polymer parts depends on the type of object that is being made. For instance, carbon fiber cloth may be laid into a mold in the shape of the end product before the mold is filled with the matrix material and heated or air cured.

Otherwise, a mold may be lined with reinforcement material before being placed into a vacuum bag, which is then filled with the matrix material. Both of these processes may also be performed with a fiber composite that has already been impregnated with the matrix material (a pre-preg) to add efficiency to the process. Another method employed by companies like BMW sees the reinforcement and matrix materials compressed between male and female portions of a metal mold.

Most methods of making CFRP parts have been labor intensive, but new methods for automation are starting to be developed. Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines with price tags ranging in the tens of millions of dollars can apply strips of reinforcement material to a polymer part, cut the strips to the appropriate length and apply heat to fuse them together before the part is put into an autoclave for final curing.

These processes are often labor intensive and expensive with laying carbon fiber either performed tediously by hand or using automated machines that are too costly for any but larger manufacturers to afford. By 3D printing CFRP parts, its possible to reduce the manual elements involved, while also introducing the ability to custom manufacture one-off parts or short production runs with increased geometric complexity.

At the moment, the easiest method for introducing carbon fiber into the 3D printing process may be the use of CFRP filament. This material typical combines chopped carbon fiber with a thermoplastic to create a composite filament that can be extruded from fused filament fabrication (FFF) technologies. FFF 3D printers are often low-cost, entry-
level systems but can also be professional and industrial-grade machines.

There are several manufacturers of CFRP filaments using varying degrees of carbon fiber reinforcement and different matrix materials. colorFabb, based in the Netherlands, producesXT-CF20, a material that combines Eastman Chemicals Amphora polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETG) copolyester with 20 percent chopped carbon fiber. Proto-pastasCarbon Fiber PLAis a mix of polylactic acid (PLA), a corn starchderived plastic, and chopped carbon fiber.

Markforged, which makes its own carbon fiber 3D printer that will be discussed in the following section, manufacturesa nylon-carbon fiber compositeas well. 3DXTECH makes a variety ofdifferent carbon fiber filaments, ranging from PLA and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) to PETG, nylon and PEEK.

Each variety of filament offers different characteristics. While a PLA composite may be the easiest to print with, ABS or PETG may be a bit stronger, without breaking the bank. Nylon will be even tougher and more wear resistant than these other options, but paying the higher price for PEEK will enable you to construct parts that may truly be industrial grade. Though all may be stronger than their noncarbon fiber counterparts, PEEK will be the strongest and most heat, chemical and moisture resistant of the bunch.

These filaments may be more than twice as strong as materials without carbon fiber; however, chopped carbon fiber is limited in terms of the strength it can offer because the material is, well, chopped. Continuous carbon fiber reinforcement can be even more durable due to the fact that thousands of carbon fibers are bundled together in long strands, rather than broken up and scattered throughout a predominantly plastic part.

For this reason, Arevo Labs has developed not just forms of filament with chopped carbon fiber, but materials with continuous carbon fiber filament as well as materials with carbon nanotubes. As Hemant Bheda, CEO of Arevo Labs, explained, We have a process to combine continuous fibers with thermoplastic material. This process is separate from the 3D printer. Carbon nanofibers are treated similar to any other continuous fibers. Carbon nanofibers have much higher strength compared to carbon fibers.

Whether they use chopped carbon fiber, carbon nanotubes or continuous carbon fiber, the majority of 3D printing technologies still suffer from a characteristic known as delamination, in which layers on the Z-axis are not fully fused and come apart. For this reason, Arevo Labs has developed a five-axis 3D printing technique, which prints not just in the X, Y and Z axes, but from virtually every angle.

Bheda described the benefits of this process: We extend [traditional] deposition to [our] True 3D deposition. Classical 3D printing deposits material in the XY plane only. We call this 2.5D printing. 2.5D printing gives rise to weakness in the Z direction. This is also called delamination. Because our five-axis robotic arm driven by our software algorithms can deposit material on a 3D surface (not limited to the XY plane), it results in higher strength in the Z direction and improved aesthetics.

3D Printing with Continuous Carbon Fiber

At the moment, Markforgeds continuous filament fabrication (CFF) is one of the few methods on the market for 3D printing with carbon fiber and one of only two capable of using continuous carbon fiber that Im aware of. The technology is similar to FFF, in that it extrudes a thermoplastic from a print head onto a substrate layer by layer until the object is complete. However, CFF adds a second extruder that feeds strands of fiber filament into the print during the process.

Markforgedlaunched with the Mark One 3D printer at SOLIDWORKS World 2014 but has since upgraded the system to be a bit larger, higher quality and more reliable with the Mark Two. The Mark Two is capable of 3D printing with either nylon or carbon fiberreinforced nylon as the matrix material along with a variety of reinforcement materials, including carbon, fiberglass, high-strength and high-temperature fiberglass and Kevlar.

Cynthia Gumbert, vice president of marketing for Markforged, explained that the companys technology makes it possible to produce such objects as tooling, production fixtures, end-use parts and even orthotics, all high strength and lightweight due to the CFF process. Many of our customers now print parts that used to be machined out of metal, Gumbert said. The savings in cost, time and materials with CFF is creating a new economy for 3D printing, with significant savings over machining and traditional composites production processes.

She pointed out that Markforged printers also produce no wasted material, unlike, say, selective laser sintering, and completed parts require no post-processing. The use of nylon or carbon fiberreinforced nylon as the shell material also results in low-friction parts, which is beneficial for producing tooling and fixtures. Gumbert added, [CFF is the] only advanced fiber routing [process that follows] specifically designed contours. This is a major advance over the traditional sheet-based approachwe can follow a contour and reinforce it. For example, we can print rings around a hole to reinforce the hole. In the old layer method, all the fibers leading up to the hold are loose, cut ends, which need to be reinforced with inserts. Our continuous fiber is laid up to the hole, around the hole and then back out. We further alternate the seam in each layer as to avoid having any weak spots.

The Mark One and Mark Two have proven themselves to be uniquely capable of providing custom fiber-reinforced parts at an affordable price. TheMark Twostarts at $5,499, giving small labs and large companies the ability to prototype parts or produce end products reinforced with carbon fiber and other materials.

However, Markforged is not the only company that has developed a method for laying continuous carbon fiber within a print. A California company calledOrbital Composites Inc.has created an extruder that is also capable of filling prints with carbon fiber filament. So far, at leastone firmis relying on this technology for its own carbon fiber printer and even plans to send a version outfitted for operation in microgravityto the International Space Station.

In space or on terra, one disadvantage to this technology is the fact that some complex geometries and fine details may not be printable with carbon fiber reinforcement. Though CFF is easily capable of 3D printing objects that might typically be CNC milled, an intricate lattice may not be printable with reinforcement. Additionally, like all FFF platforms, CFF may not be all that fast, and at 320 mm x 132 mm x 154 mm (12.6 in x 5.2 in x 6.1 in), the build platform is relatively small.

Impossible Speed and Flexibility with Carbon Fiber 3D Printing

While Markforged machines are desktop printers, emerging carbon fiber 3D printing technologies may require a dedicated production facility or machine shop. This may be true ofImpossible Objectscomposite-based additive manufacturing method (CBAM) technology. However, the firmsCBAM processmay solve some of the limitations faced by desktop carbon fiber printers by combining fiber reinforcement with any number of matrix materials at potentially high speeds and at scalable sizes.

Once a CAD file has been sliced into individual bitmap layers, the printer deposits an aqueous-based printing solution into the shape of that bitmap onto a substrate sheet made from a given reinforcement material. The substrate sheet is subsequently flooded with the thermoplastic matrix material, which sticks only to the aqueous solution. The powder is then blown or vacuumed off, leaving only the plastic that has adhered to the liquid.

This process is repeated with each layer of the CAD file, with all of the substrate sheets finally stacked, compressed and placed into an oven to fuse the matrix material together. The object is then taken out of the oven, and the excess reinforcement material is remo
ved via chemical bath or sand blasting. The result is a thermoplastic print reinforced with anything from carbon fiber, fiberglass, polyester, polyvinyl alcohol and PLA to silk and cotton.

These prints can be up to 10 times stronger than components made with FFF or other 3D printing processes. Additionally, because CBAM does not melt the thermoplastic material, as occurs with FFF, a wider variety of materials are available for 3D printing, such as PEEK.

Moreover, because inkjet heads can deposit millions of drops per second, its possible to print much more quickly. The companys founder and CEO, Robert Swartz, believes that Impossible Objects can create a CBAM machine capable of 3D printing at rates of 100 meters per minute. Currently, the prototype machine can print with sheets 12 in x 16 in (305 mm x 406 mm) in size, but he thinks that this size can be scaled up to fabricate entire car hoods.

The geometries that can be printed with CBAM are dependent on the reinforcement material used. 3D printing with carbon fiber, in particular, requires the use of sandblasting to take away support structures and excess material, so that interior parts may not be easily removed during post-processing. When using chemical processes, however, the geometric complexity is much greater, as excess material is dissolved away.

While not quite as strong as traditionally manufactured parts reinforced with carbon fiber, CBAM may be able to fabricate components much stronger than many other 3D printing technologies. It may, therefore, be ideal for creating complex, durable parts more quickly and affordably than those produced with traditional technologies. As with CFF, this process is also much more automated than conventional carbon fiber reinforcement methods.

Swartz spoke to how the firms technology advances the state of the art in 3D printing. The biggest challenge for AM is the ability to build lightweight functional parts and to do it quickly, he said. Carbon fiberbased CBAM produces parts with great mechanical strength, which can be used in applications to replace metals, and much better mechanical properties than existing AM processes like selective laser sintering, fused deposition or stereolithography. In addition, CBAM is faster than these existing processes.

He added, This opens up a number of markets, including medical, aerospace and performance sports as well as other areas, like lightweighting in the auto industry, where carbon fibers superior strength-to-weight ratios are important.

There is, however, not yet a CBAM 3D printer on the market. Impossible Objects plans to ship beta preproduction machines in early 2017. When CBAM systems are available for purchase though, they will likely be less expensive than high-end Stratasys, EOS and HP 3D printers.

CBAM is not the only new carbon fiber 3D printing technology on the horizon. At RAPID 2016, digital light processing pioneer EnvisionTECunveiledits massiveSLCOM 13D printer, which relies on the companys patent-pending selective lamination composite object manufacturing (SLCOM) technology.

Remember pre-pregs from earlier in this article? SLCOM uses rolls of woven reinforcement materialincluding carbon fiber, fiberglass and Kevlarpre-impregnated with a thermoplastic, such as PEEK, polyetherketoneketone, polycarbonate, Nylon 6, Nylon 11 or Nylon 12. The roll is fed into the print chamber layer by layer with a heated roller passing over to melt the thermoplastic within. At the same time, an inkjet head deposits wax and a binding agent to the metal. A carbon blade with an attached ultrasonic emitter follows up by cutting away any area with wax.

The SLCOM 1 is capable of 3D printing parts as large as 24 in x 30 in x 24 in (610 mm x 762 mm x 610 mm) and up to 500 lbs (226.8 kg). Such a massive print comes with a massive price tag of roughly $1 million when the machine is released this winter.

John Hartner, chief operating officer at EnvisionTEC, was able to shed light on the possibilities offered by the SLCOM process. He pointed out that the printer is targeted toward the aerospace, automotive and defense industries and, therefore, designed to solve some of the key challenges associated with creating composite parts, such as the limitations of hand layup composites and the challenges of processing pre-pregs.

Our new 3D printer is capable of making large woven fiber parts and custom parts that are strong and lightweight and have certain functional characteristics made possible with different composite matrices, Hartner explained. Specifically, our technology simplifies the process of creating composite parts and allows for 24/7 production of complete and nearly complete, high-quality composite parts that are capable of being machined if desired. We believe this marks the beginning of an exciting, new period of advancement for composite production.

Hartner elaborated that aerospace and defense firms have shown a particular interest in the technology, with an eye towards flexible and rapid production. However, he believes that other sectors will soon follow given the SLCOM 1s ability to produce high-strength, lightweight parts or parts with special functions.

For example, the SLCOM technology can be used to produce parts in a wide variety of custom-tailored composite materials, and composite combinations can be selected for a variety of functions, such as low flammability, high wear, X-ray transparency and more, Hartner said. Aside from the obvious benefit this offers the aerospace, automotive and defense industries, its easy to see how medical parts, sporting goods, lighting and a variety of consumer products could be transformed by this new technology.

Given the immense size of the machine and the tough materials being printed, I wondered about the post-processing required for removing such large parts from excess materials. Hartner explained that this is not as arduous as one might think: All 3D processes require some post-processing, but one of the distinguishing factors of our technology is the use of a lamination inhibition fluid during the build process, which essentially applies an anti-stick material at the desired edge of the part or product. This reduces the post-processing to basically an easy release, or breaking away, of the part from the waste area. Its a time-saving improvement.

3D printing with carbon fiber is still in the early stages of development. If Impossible Objects and EnvisionTEC are any indication, however, we may be on the cusp of an exciting new area of 3D printing technology. Currently, there are university and government labs engaged in research that may turn out new methods for reinforcing 3D-printed objects with carbon fiber.

One lab that is keenly interested in this topic is the U.S. Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which has already helped to develop one new carbon fiber 3D printing method and may have more to come. The lab actually has a 42,000-square-foot facility devoted to the production of carbon fiber, including a 390-foot-long processing line that can make up to 25 tons of carbon fiber per year.

In 2014, ORNL partnered with machine manufacturer Cincinnati Inc. and crowdsourcing auto manufacturer Local Motors to retrofit existing Cincinnati equipment for 3D printing. The result is theBig Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine. With a build volume of 7 ft x 13 ft x 3 ft (2.1 m x 4.0 m x 0.9 m), the BAAM uses a hopper to feed raw material pellets into an extruder in order to 3D print at an alarming rate of 40 lbs/hr.

The technology has proven ideal for 3D printing the chassis of Local Motors vehicles, including the upcomingLM3D Swim, which will be the first road-ready, 3D-printed car series, andOlli, a 3D-printed, autonomous public transit vehicle. Made from only 5 percent carbon fiber and 95 percent ABS, the firms first 3D-printed auto,the Strati, had very little carbon fiber content. ORNLlaterwent on to 3D printa Shelby Cobramade up of 20 percent carbon fiber with finish so fine that it is impossible to tell that the car was 3
D printed.

However, given the research currently being performed by ORNL, the lab may be upping the amount of carbon fiber reinforcement thats fit to 3D print. ORNL is working with Texas startupCosine Additiveto develop a Medium Area Additive Manufacturing system, which will be similar to a smaller version of the BAAM. The lab will also be working with Impossible Objects to 3D print tooling for making carbon fiber composite parts.

3D printing with carbon fiber may be more immediately implemented, but some are already looking to carbon fibers miraculous cousin, graphene. With a thickness of a single carbon atom, graphene is about 100 times stronger than steel, incredibly lightweight and electrically and thermally conductive.

Right now, anyone can 3D print with graphene-PLA filamentfrom Graphene 3D Lab; however, several research endeavors have demonstrated the ability to 3D print purer versions of the stuff, including scientists at theImperial College Londonand(LLNL).

The difficulty of 3D printing with graphene is the inability to deposit this hydrophobic wonder material from a print head. While the Imperial College London team actually 3D prints with graphene-oxide combined with a responsive polymer in order to extrude the material as a paste, LLNL 3D printed graphene-oxide into a silica gel.

As this technology is commercialized, it may be used to create highly conductive electronic components, as well as protective coatings for aircraft, among other applications. Researchers at Imperial College London, for instance, aim to create smart skin for robots with the process.

In the near term, however, carbon fiber will more quickly make its way into the portfolio of 3D printing materials. As it does, this authors favorite manufacturing technology may be able to further demonstrate the ability to pull off feats that conventional production techniques could only dream of.

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Joseph DeSimone What if 3D printing was 100x faster?

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Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing of PEEK Composite Parts

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New materials, new software advances and new production environments demanded development of a new class of 3D printers. From small medical implants to large aerospace structures,our scalable additive equipment is manufacturing the next generation of 3D printed parts. And we thought outside the box.

We 3D print the highest performance thermoplastic composite parts available today for our OEM partners.By leveraging new freedom of design and material possibilities, our customers are raising the bar of performance in their respective fields.

Carbon Announces 3D Printing Material Program for Manufacturers

REDWOOD CITY, CA, Sep 27, 2017  Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based 3D manufacturing company, announced a materials program that will offer some of its 3D printing polymer resins via bulk packaging, which will enable a 40 percent price reduction for high-volume manufacturers. The first material to be offered via bulk packaging will be RPU (rigid polyurethane) 70, which Carbon will initially sell for $150/liter, down from the current $250/liter. Working with its network of global supply chain partners and integrating novel approaches for dispensing and distributing resins to a fleet of printers, Carbon expects to further reduce the price to less than $100/liter over the next year, significantly increasing the addressable market for 3D manufactured parts.

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 co-founder Dr. 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.

Key to the introduction of bulk packaging for its dual cure resins, Carbon also is launching a resin dispensing instrument called an MMD (meter mix and dispense) developed in partnership with Henkel Adhesive Technologies, a global leader for high-impact solutions in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. This accessory to Carbons recently launched SpeedCell™ manufacturing system allows for the proper dispensing of RPU 70 in bulk quantities. Henkels partnership will enable Carbons growing global industrial supply chain as demand for these materials increases among its production partners and customers. One such production partner, The Technology House, has already implemented this new MMD device.

Weve been watching Carbon for some time now, and, as a chemical company, were impressed with its innovations in materials as well as its surge into the consumer goods industry, said Philipp Loosen, global head of 3D Printing, Henkel Adhesive Technologies. Were delighted to work with such a promising company to develop hardware and materials solutions to bring pioneering technologies like 3D printing to traditional manufacturing and support the expansion of these capabilities to a variety of markets and applications. This is the future.

Partners Ford and adidas are among some of the first companies lined up to take advantage of these new production offerings, enabling them to accelerate the role of 3D printing into their traditional large scale manufacturing process. Specifically, adidas has committed to using Carbon materials at a scale of hundreds of thousands of liters, as it gears up to mass produce midsoles for theFuturecraft 4Dathletic footwear, launched with Carbon in April 2017.

Ford shares Carbons vision of 3D manufacturing and is actively working with Carbon to accelerate the implementation for automotive applications, said Dr. Ken Washington, vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering and chief technology officer, Ford Motor Company.

To further support its growth globally, Carbon has also expanded operations into Europe teaming up with new production partners in Germany including Fast Radius, Oechsler, and Citim, a member of the Oerlikon Group; and, in the U.K. including Fast Radius and Paragon. Such global growth is yet another important milestone in Carbons strategy of bringing a complete system materials, hardware, supply chain, and the right players in the industry together to make its additive manufacturing vision a reality.

So many of our customers have been asking for a better, more economical way to produce their parts and products, and weve found that with Carbon, said Phill Adamson, managing director at Paragon. The companys groundbreaking Digital Light Synthesis additive manufacturing technology has been game-changing for the industry because our customers can go from design to production very easily with one technology, which significantly reduces development costs and eliminates tooling requirements. Now with this materials program it gives real scalability for higher volume batch production.

Carbon will be on-site at the TCT Show in Birmingham, UK on September 26-28 to discuss these exciting new developments. For more information, visit

Carbon is a Silicon Valley-based company working at the intersection of hardware, software and molecular science to deliver on the promise of 3D manufacturing. The company empowers its customers and partners to evolve beyond using 3D printing for basic prototyping to producing at scale by revolutionizing how they design, engineer, make and deliver their products. With Carbons Digital Light Synthesis technology and its SpeedCell system (M Series printers and Smart Part Washer), manufacturers can unlock new business opportunities such as mass customization, on-demand inventory and differentiated products made with unique functional materials. Carbons solutions also provide substantial operational efficiencies such as the elimination of tooling costs and decreased time to market.

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Demand more from your materials. Developed for engineering and industrial applications, Nylon CARBONITE is a carbon fiber nylon filament that is excellent for prototyping and producing functional parts.

Reinforced with high-modulus carbon fiber, Nylon CARBONITE is a composite material that provides the best of both worlds. The material has the chemical resistance, durability, and signature subtle flexibility of nylon but with the structural rigidity of carbon fiber. In addition to adding light-weight strength, carbon fiber provides extra thermal resistance and prints easily, with less warpage than regular nylon filaments.

When it comes to looks, this carbon fiber nylon may just become your new favorite go-to material. When printed, Nylon CARBONITE provides an appealing semi-matte black finish.

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Carbon3D 3D printing made faster

The inventors of Carbon3D argue that traditional 3D printing is a misnomer. This process is actually just repeated 2D printing, which creates a 3D object as the layers build up. Traditional 3D pronting also has a number of limitations. It is a lengthy process, often taking hours to produce a single object. The materials you can use are extremely limited, and the objects produced are often mechanically weak. These  problems are the reason 3D printing is yet to be widely employed in mass production. Carbon3Ds creators believe their technology will change 3D printing forever. Its capable of producing objects between 25 and 100 times faster than traditional techniques, working in minutes rather than hours. Carbon3D utilises the properties of light and oxygen to grow parts from a liquid resin. Light and oxygen, in this case, work as polar opposites. Light converts the liquid resin into a solid, whereas oxygen stops the resin from solidifying.

By harnessing these properties, the mechanical steps and layers seen in traditional 3D printing are eliminated, producing a smooth, structurally sound object. The real innovation lies in the window, which enables the oxygen flux to be controlled, creating a layer between the window and the object called a dead zone. This area enables the object to be continuously grown from the resin.

With continued research and refi nement, the creators of Carbon3D hope to see their technique used to mass-produce objects. They also believe that they will be able to offer personalised medicine by producing parts designed to work for individuals, such as small tubes used for widening arteries known as stents.

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Carbon Aims for Mass 3D Printing with Materials Program

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Carbon Aims for Mass 3D Printing with Materials Program

Michael Molitch-Houposted on September 26, 20176189 views

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 Carbons 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 Carbons 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.

The announcement reflects Carbons intention to position its Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) as a mass production technology. With itsSpeedCell 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.

Earlier this year, it wasannouncedthat Carbon and adidas would be working together to make 3D printing for mass production a reality. Using Carbons 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 Carbons technology. Ford shares Carbons 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 thehearing aid and invisible dental alignment markets, we may soon see midsoles and other goods made with 3D printing.

To learn more, visitthe Carbon websiteor, if youre at the TCT show, stop by the companys booth.

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Robot Bike Company Blends 3D Printed Titanium with Carbon Fiber for R160

Robot Bike Company Blends 3D Printed Titanium with C …

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As someone who considers himselfto be an avid cyclist, my calves get butterflies whenever I see or hear about 3D printing technology being utilized by a bicycle manufacturer. The effort has been undertaken on numerous occasions, assisted by some of the most prominent companies in the 3D printing industry. Back in February,Montague Bikes enlisted the help of Shapeways, which helped the bike company3D print their foldable bicycle in aluminum material. Just prior to that, a group of Dutch students used MX3Ds metal 3D printing prowess to create a complex and unique bicycle of their own.

One of the most desired materials for bicycle manufacturing is carbon fiber, which is both lightweight and strong enough for some serious mountain biking. Carbon fiber mountain bike frames are traditionally casted from a mold, typically making custom-built carbon fiber frames a difficult endeavor. But the UK-based bike manufacturer Robot Bike Company has found a way to incorporate metal 3D printing with carbon fiber tubes, which has resulted in their R160 full-suspension mountain bike frame.

To make the R160, Robot Bike Company uses titanium 3D printing to procure lugs, which are a type of tubing mated with socket-like sleeves used to construct bike frames. These lugs are then used to join together the carbon fiber tubes, which are cut to the

The titanium powder, which is fused together by a high power fibre laser, is capable of reaching a resolution of between 10-45um. After printing, its heat treated for optimized mechanical performance, then CNC machined for bearing, headset, and bottom bracket fit. Robot Bike Company also utilizes topology optimization, an algorithmic approach to optimize material layout within a given space, which ensures that their bike frames are both lightweight and resistant to material fatigue. This computer-generative design approach is sourced from their partnership withThe finished product is a mountain bike frame that weighs approximately 29 lbs and is uniquely fitted to each customer. Each R160 is specially manufactured according to measurements provided by the customer, as well as the type of riding they plan to undertake. The angle of these 3D printed lugs are equipped according to the dimensions and information provided by the rider, ensuring maximum comfort and stability.

The R160 (bike frame only) is currently available to orderfrom Robot Bike Company for 4,395 (approximately $6,360), and takes about four weeks to manufacture and deliver after information is submitted and the purchaseis made. By combining 3D printing technology and topology optimization together, the R160 is a cutting-edge mountain bike frame engineered to be as lightweight and mechanically stable as possible. Though I one day dream of being able to customize and 3D print a bicycle of my own, Ill leave it to professionals like Robot Bike Company to pave the trail first.

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Carbon Releases 3D Printing Software

Enhancements Include Automated Tools Backed by Finite Element Analysis

REDWOOD CITY, CA, Nov 30, 2017  Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based 3D manufacturing company, announced a new version of its next-gen 3D printing software that expands its industry-leading tools to design, engineer and make polymeric parts using Carbons Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology and resins. With this software release, Carbon now offers a variety of tools that enable customers to print parts easily and successfully the first time, optimize supports for material usage, and minimize post-processing. These new software tools are backed by finite element analysis (FEA), a powerful cloud-based computational technique that simulates the forces of DLS.

Representative heat oracle simulation showing hot-spots at multiple part cross-sections (Image Courtesy of Carbon website)

In this latest software update, customers can expect:

: This cloud-powered feature analyzes customers parts and helps ensure successful printing in the first iteration. It also helps customers understand where a specific part may need more support, aiding in the design of a manual support strategy.

: Fence supports can be used to support edges so they print with precision, minimize material usage, and produce parts with minimal support artifacts.

: Simulations require a significant amount of computing power, which can often result in a slow process. Carbon uses a secure, cloud-based computing architecture that substantially speeds up the simulation, from days to hours.

Software simulation shows designers high deformation zones (in red) on a hollow production part (Image Courtesy of Carbon website)

Carbon is often recognized for its innovations in hardware and materials science, but our software is what enables all of these pieces to work together seamlessly, said Roy Goldman, director of Software at Carbon. Carbons software creates a digital canvas on which every cubic millimeter of a part can be designed, controlled, and optimized before its printed. Weve built this software from the ground up, providing our customers with a comprehensive view of the design process that helps ensure a part performs as desired, and enables fast printing and easy post-processing. These new FEA-backed automated support tools are the first of their kind and take our software to a whole new level.

Since the release of Carbons first 3D printer, the M1, in April 2016, the company has been using its modern software to bring its hardware and materials together into a powerful, easy-to-use, digital-first manufacturing system. Developed by some of the greatest engineering minds in Silicon Valley hailing from innovative leaders like Tesla and Google this cloud-connected approach allows Carbon to integrate all of its unit operations and offerings, and the every-six-week release updates continually optimize customers hardware to help ensure peak performance and streamline the introduction of new resins.

Additionally, some of the key overarching features of Carbons software include:

Software-controlled chemical reaction of the printing process

: Complex physics and chemistry models are already built into the software, so the printer knows, for example, how to print complex fluidics parts versus a midsole for an adidas Futurecraft 4D shoe. This software-driven intelligence helps customers iterate rapidly, from design to prototyping to production stage.

: With the assistance of Carbons software, designers can create internal lattice structures, and add aesthetic and functional textures.

: Carbon printers come with multiple printer profiles, which are optimized for production speed and repeatability. Customers can also focus on producing a successful print in a broad range of geometries.

: For most customers, it is critical to know the full lineage of a produced part. With Carbon, everything is digitally traceable, down to a unique ID that can automatically be engraved or embossed on any part. This unique ID can be used to identify the digital historical record of the part, including the specific printer, resin, and even post-processing protocols that were involved in making that part.

: Meaningful production volumes at scale can rarely be achieved using just one or two printers. For final production to happen at scale, manufacturers need an easy way to install and manage multiple printers or SpeedCell operations. From real-time dashboards to aggregate data and reports, to an API that enables integration with existing business systems, Carbons sophisticated printer software platform supports fleet management of printers or SpeedCell operations more broadly than any other solution on the market.

Carbons core technology is enabling new business models that inherently need new software, said Carbon CEO and co-founder, Dr. Joseph DeSimone. Printing parts on demand, re-purposing a fleet of machines to print a range of parts daily or even hourly, local production for local markets these are all challenges big manufacturing and ERP companies have talked about for years, but progress has largely been stagnant because the underlying technology hasnt existed. Carbon is changing the game by solving each of these problems head-on, moving beyond prototyping to real-world production at scale.

Carbon is a Silicon Valley-based company working at the intersection of hardware, software, and molecular science to deliver on the promise of 3D manufacturing. The company empowers its customers and partners to evolve beyond using 3D printing for basic prototyping to producing at scale by revolutionizing how they design, engineer, make, and deliver their products. With Carbons Digital Light Synthesis technology and its SpeedCell system (M Series printers and Smart Part Washer), manufacturers can unlock new business opportunities such as mass customization, on-demand inventory, and differentiated products made with unique functional materials. Carbons solutions also provide substantial operational efficiencies, such as the elimination of tooling costs and decreased time to market.

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3D sportswear partnership moves forward Adidas executive takes seat on 3D printing firms management board

3D sportswear partnership moves forward / Adidas executive takes seat on 3D printing firms management board

Futurecraft 4D shoes have 3D-printed soles (Photo: Carbon)

(Redwood City, California / USA; the Silicon Valley-based 3D manufacturing company, has appointed

(Herzogenaurach / Germany; executive

to its board of directors. The appointment underlines the two companies deepening cooperation to make sportswear products from 3D printing.

The announcement came on 18 January, the day Adidas released its Futurecraft 4D footwear at selected stores in New York. The release date was also a month after a group of investors that include Adidas corporate venture armHydra Ventures(Amsterdam / The Netherlands; helped Carbon raise USD 200m (EUR 163m) for its global expansion.

Liedtke is Adidas board member responsible for the adidas and Reebok brands since March 2014. He said he looked forward to contributing to Carbons vision to fundamentally change how the world designs, engineers, makes and delivers customised products at scale.

Futurecraft 4D shoes have mid-soles made from Carbons Digital Light Synthesis 3D printing technology. It uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics and programmable liquid resins.

When the two companies made their partnership public in 2017, Adidas said more than 100,000 pairs of the sneakers would be produced by the end of 2018 (see of20.04.2017). Carbon CEOJoseph DeSimonewas quoted by US TechCrunch media outlet in late 2017 saying there were plans to make hundreds of thousands of shoes this year and potentially millions in 2019.

According to Germanys Wirtschaftswoche magazine, 50 of Carbons 3D printers have already been installed at Adidas production facility in Ansbach, in southern Germany. A sole can be produced in less than an hour at each of these devices and the speed of production would be accelerated later, it cited Adidas strategy headJames Carnesas saying.

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Carbon slashes 3D-printing materials cost for high-volume manufacturers

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3D manufacturing company Carbon (Redwood City, CA) announced today the start of a materials program that will dramatically reduce the cost of 3D-printing polymer resins for high-volume manufacturers who purchase materials in bulk. The first material to be rolled out is rigid polyurethane (RPU) 70, which Carbon will sell for $150/liter instead of the current $250/liter. Working with its network of global supply chain partners and integrating novel approaches for dispensing and distributing resins to a fleet of printers, Carbon expects to further reduce the price to less than $100/liter over the next year.

This production volume materials approach will allow us to ensure that ourpartners 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 co-founder Dr. 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.

Key to the introduction of bulk packaging for its dual-cure resins, Carbon also is launching a resin dispensing instrument developed in partnership with Henkel Adhesive Technologies, a global leader for high-impact solutions in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. The MMD (meter, mix and dispense) device is an accessory to Carbons recently launched SpeedCell manufacturing system, allowing for the proper dispensing of RPU 70 in bulk quantities, said the company in a press release. Henkels partnership will enable Carbons growing global industrial supply chain, as demand for these materials increases among its production partners and customers. One such production partner, The Technology House, a supplier of design, prototyping, and production services in Streetsboro, OH, has already implemented the new MMD device.

Partners Ford and adidas are among the first companies slated to take advantage of these new production offerings, enabling them to accelerate the role of 3D printing within their traditional large-scale manufacturing process, according to Carbon. Specifically, adidas has committed to using Carbon materials at a scale of hundreds of thousands of liters, as it gears up to mass produce midsoles for the Futurecraft 4D athletic footwear, launched in April 2017.

Carbons Head of Production Partnerships, Dana McCallum will participate in a panel discussion on 3D printing versus injection molding at PLASTEC Minneapolis, one of six co-located shows at the Midwests largest advanced manufacturing event, in November. She will be joined by peers from Proto Labs and PTI Engineered Plastics in a lively discussion on the prospect of 3D printing competing with injection molding in certain production volumes and applications. The event will welcome more than 600 suppliers and thousands of attendees to the Minneapolis Convention Center on Nov. 8 and 9, 2017. Go to the

for more information and to register to attend.

To further support its growth globally, Carbon has also expanded operations into Europe teaming up with new production partners Citim, a member of the Oerlikon Group, and Oechsler in Germany; and, Fast Radius and Paragon in the U.K.

So many of our customers have been asking for a better, more economical way to produce their parts and products, and weve found that with Carbon, said Phill Adamson, Managing Director at Paragon. The companys groundbreaking Digital Light Synthesis additive manufacturing technology has been game changing for the industry because our customers can go from design to production very easily with one technology, which significantly reduces development costs and eliminates tooling requirements. Now with this materials program it gives real scalability for higher volume batch production.

Digital Light Synthesis technology and the SpeedCell system allow manufacturers to unlock new business opportunities such as mass customization, on-demand inventory and differentiated products made with unique functional materials, said Carbon. The technologies also provide operational efficiencies such as the elimination of tooling costs and decreased time to market.

Part of Americas largest annual design and manufacturing event, PLASTEC West will return to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, on Feb. 6 for a three-day run.Register nowand enter promo code PLASTICSTODAY to receive a 20% discount on conference sessions.

Join our growing community of plastics professionals.

3D printing deployed in aerospace sector for tooling, prototyping