Carbon 3D Printing News

Carbon 3D is a digital manufacturing company founded in 2013 by Joseph and Philip DeSimone, Alex and Nikita Ermoshkin, Edward Samulski, and Steve Nelson. Carbon is based in Redwood City, California.



Carbon 3D is known as the world’s leading digital manufacturing platform, helping companies bring innovative products to market faster.

Despite advances, traditional additive manufacturing still forces a trade-off between surface finish and mechanical properties. In contrast, Digital Light Synthesis—enabled by Carbon’s proprietary CLIP process—is a breakthrough technology using digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution, and surface finish.

Digital Light Synthesis produces consistent and predictable isotropic mechanical properties, creating parts that are solid on the inside like injection molded parts.

Conventional 3D printed materials often exhibit variable strength and mechanical properties depending on the direction in which they were printed. Carbon 3D has the technology for Digital Light Synthesis parts that behave consistently in all directions, an isotropic solution. The resolution and gentleness of Carbon 3D’s process, where parts aren’t harshly repositioned with every slice, make it possible to exploit a range of materials that have surface finish and detail needed for end use parts.

Carbon 3D has the Digital Light Synthesis technology that is driven by Carbon 3D’s CLIP process and programmable liquid resins. Carbon 3D CLIP as reported in the Science research journal, uses digital light projection in combination with oxygen permeable optics. Traditional additive manufacturing approaches to photo polymerization typically produces weak, brittle parts. Carbon 3D overcomes this by embedding a second heat-activated programmable chemistry in their materials. This produces high resolution parts with engineering grade mechanical properties.

Carbon 3D CLIP is a photochemical process that is a careful balance of light and oxygen to quickly produce parts. It works by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window into a reservoir of UV curable resin. As a sequence of UV images are projected, the part solidifies and the build platform rises.

The heart of the Carbon 3D CLIP process is known as the “dead zone”. This is a thin, liquid interface of uncured resin between the window and the printing part. Light passes through the dead zone, curing the resin to form a solid part. Resin flows beneath the curing part as the print progresses, maintaining the continuous liquid interface that powers Carbon 3D CLIP.

Once a part is printed with Carbon 3D CLIP, it’s baked in a forced circulation oven. Heat sets off a secondary chemical reaction that causes the materials to adapt and strengthen.

The Carbon 3D manufacturing solutions and applications are many and can be tailored by industry. These include: Automotive, Consumer Products, Dental, Industrial and Life Sciences.

One powerful Carbon 3D application is controlled compression. Carbon 3D’s elastomeric lattices are ideal for applications demanding precise control of compression. These applications emulate spring, either dampening a force or returning energy that has been applied to it. Carbon 3D Lattices can be produced with unique functional zones, each one having unique density and stiffness. Carbon 3D lattice structures and materials can be tuned to absorb an impact or return applied energy.

Carbon 3D offers training and resources for customers to learn best practices in developing their own applications, as well as ongoing applications engineering support. Carbon 3D can assist in designing and engineering products.

3D Manufacturing is a transformative journey for organizations and product development teams in medium to large enterprises across industry verticals. Adoption of 3D-manufactured parts in any product requires buy-in at the executive level and an understanding of the process and its capabilities at the engineering level. Based on Carbon’s experience working with numerous industry-leading OEM customers, this process has been divided into a six-step journey as our customers validate the feasibility, viability, and scalability of parts production using Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology. Carbon 3D has found this to be a robust process based on its usefulness across products, businesses, and industries.

According to Deloitte, worldwide spending on 3D printing will reach almost $20B by 2020. Additionally, research done by McKinsey Global Institute states that the adoption of 3D printing could have a global economic impact of up to $550B a year by 2025. However, in spite of all the excitement around 3D printing, there is still limited knowledge about the technology, its capabilities, and how to adopt and integrate 3D printing into organizations’ design processes and production processes. Carbon 3D has a six-step journey to production guides our partners through the DLS product development process, from concept to manufacturing.

There are six steps to production with Carbon 3D:

  1. Feasibility stage of exploration and technical feasibility. The goal of this stage is to identify applications and customer part(s) to prove technical feasibility with minimal resources.Feasibility stage of proof of concept.

  2. Carbon 3D delivers an early proof of concept and confirms design(s) for DLS can achieve the performance requirements by producing a small number of parts.

  3. Viability stage is a beta stage and design validation. Finalize the design and confirm functional and commercial viability.

  4. Viability stage for a pilot and low volume production. Confirm printability, efficiency and economics over multiple parts and multiple printers.

  5. Scalability stage of production implementation. Transfer proven production process to the OEM / CM replicate efficiency and throughput proven at Carbon.

  6. Scalability stage of production support. OEM or CM ramps up production and delivers part(s) output goals.