Redwood City, California – Carbon3D has launched its first commercial 3D printer, the M1. It uses the company’s continuous liquid interface production (Clip) technology.
Traditional approaches to additive manufacturing make trade-offs between surface finish and mechanical properties, the company claims. In contrast, the M1 can create high-resolution parts with engineering-grade mechanical properties and surface finish, allowing both functional prototype and production-quality parts to be created, the firm said.
“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,” said , the company’s chief executive and co-founder.
Alongside the printer, the company has introduced seven proprietary resins, allowing parts with a range of mechanical properties to be created, with similar performance similar to those made by injection-moulding. Five of these resins are polyurethane-based, including three rigid polyurethanes designed for consumer electronics, automotive and industrial components where excellent mechanical properties are key, Carbon3D said.
A flexible polyurethane is designed for applications such as hinging mechanisms and friction fits where the ability to withstand repetitive stresses are important.There is also an elastomeric polyurethane for cushioning, gaskets and seals where high elasticity, impact and tear resistance are required.
The company said it has worked with several early customers, including BMW, Ford and Johnson & Johnson, in industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical and athletic apparel. These companies have already tested parts in high-stress production applications, including car engines and interiors, Carbon 3D said. “The M1 is being used to shorten product development cycles, address new lightweight, high-strength geometries, and produce customised medical devices,” the company claimed.
The printer can collect more than a million process control data points/day, allowing Carbon to provide precise remote diagnostics, assist with print optimisation, and improve print quality over time. It has a browser-based interface, simplifying installation and operation. The M1 is being sold via a subscription pricing model, including access to the service team, the company adds.