It seems that Carbon has been awarded a new patent this week.
The patent, number 2017044381, is entitled, “Epoxy Dual Cure Resins for Additive Manufacturing” and seems to deal with a new method of curing resins for 3D printing.
I must confess I am not quite sure what this patent describes, as it is written in a highly legal fashion. Here’s the abstract and you can see what I mean:
An epoxy dual cure resin useful for additive manufacturing of three-dimensional objects includes:(i) a photoinitiator; (ii) monomers and/or prepolymers that are polymerizable by exposure to actinic radiation or light; (iii) optionally, a light absorbing pigment or dye; (iv) an epoxy resin; (v) optionally, but in some embodiments preferably, an organic hardener co-polymerizable with the epoxy resin; (vi) optionally but preferably a dual reactive compound having substituted thereon a first reactive group reactive with said monomers and/or prepolymers that are polymerizable by exposure to actinic radiation or light, and a second reactive group reactive with said epoxy resin (e.g., an epoxy acrylate); (vii) optionally a diluent; (viii) optionally a filler; and (ix) optionally, a co-monomer and/or a co-prepolymer. Methods of using the same in additive manufacturing are also described.
So, that’s entirely clear, right?
I think what this is saying is that the resin itself contains epoxy elements, where two different substances transform into a third when mixed. On the other hand, maybe not. It’s hard to tell.
Patents are more frequently being written with a lot of “optionals” that attempt to block future variations of the process from being patented by others. In earlier patents it was a bit simpler: the language was just vague and offered multiple interpretations.
Note that this is a WIPO patent, meaning it has wide applicability across the world, and signals of Carbon’s longer-term intentions of selling their equipment worldwide.