Carbon has been very quiet in recent years, but now they have announced a new set of flexible materials.
The company was one of the first to offer high speed resin 3D printing through the use of their patented membrane that prevents prints from sticking to the tank. This allows more or less continuous 3D printing, leading to significant speed increases.
Since their launch the company has focused on applications for mass production with product manufacturers. To assist this strategy they created sophisticated lattice-generating software that manufacturers can use to develop designs for unique 3D printable components. That software has since been released to the public.
However, in the past few years they have cut back significantly on marketing for unstated reasons. The industry suspicion is that they are simply focusing on a smaller set of very large clients, and that keeps them busy. That doesn’t require a huge marketing presence.
Because of that the company has been relatively quiet in the public eye recently.
Does that mean they’re not doing anything? By no means so! In fact, this week they announced the availability of an entirely new set of flexible resins for their equipment.
The new resins are called “EPU 46”, and it’s an elastomer material. This material can be stretched but then retains its original geometry when released.
Carbon said EPU 46 offers high performance properties and has “excellent durability”. They also offer the material in a large number of colors, making it ideal for production of consumer products requiring a specific visual appearance. They say EPU 46 retains the color even after wear because the pigment is mixed in with the resin throughout the print.
Carbon also said EPU 46 has speedy print times, but didn’t offer specific benchmarks.
Carbon SVP of Materials Jason Rolland explained:
“EPU 46 is the future of elastomer customization, combining the benefits of performance, comfort and durability with the excitement of custom colors and tunable material stiffness. EPU 46 furthers our commitment to providing a robust and complete idea-to-production platform that can be fully customized to our client’s specifications. This is truly the next step in our journey to creating anything that can be dreamt up.”
EPU 46 is also partly made from bio-sourced materials, making it a more sustainable alternative for manufacturers.
Focusing on materials is the right strategy, as Carbon’s equipment is already quite capable. The gap is to provide materials to manufacturers to enable the production of new products that were previously unprintable.