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Brief Published: 20 Mar 2015

Layerless 3D Printing: Carbon3D

Californian company Carbon3D has developed a breakthrough 3D manufacturing technology that ‘grows’ parts rather than printing them layer by layer.

Called Clip (Continuous Liquid Interface Production), the technology uses a carefully balanced chemical reaction in which ultraviolet (UV) light and oxygen interacts, and is projected into a pool of UV-curable resin. The build platform of the machine lifts continuously as the object is ‘grown’. Sophisticated computer software precisely manages the entire process by controlling the variables.

This process eliminates the mechanical steps and layers seen in traditional 3D printing, and is 25 to 100 times faster. Clip technology could revolutionise the 3D manufacturing industry by allowing businesses and consumers to produce seamless objects at game-changing speeds. 

For further advances in 3D printing, see our Materials Focus 16-17 rationale Super Smart, and our report Restructuring Materials