Carbon 3D, the relatively unknown California-based start-up behind the marvel, has pioneered the technique, which it calls Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP). It uses lasers and oxygen in a way that slows down and allows the formed photosensitive resin to cure. This allows the printing to occur in three dimensions at once.
According to 3D Print news site, the privately-owned company has been quietly developing the technology since its inception in 2013.
The process goes like this: an oxygen window is created, allowing the machine to control precisely the mixing of the laser light and oxygen on the resulting resin. Variation in the mixture is what makes the shapes. The window is key here: it’s transparent to light, but allows oxygen to pass through it, the way a contact lens does, according to the company!
As the makers explain, “UV light triggers photo polymerization and oxygen inhibits it. By carefully balancing the interaction of light and oxygen, CLIP continuously grows objects from a pool of resin.”
Check out the Carbon3D Demo here:
The opinion is that this is what is needed for 3D printing to become really attractive.