Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based 3D manufacturing company, is introducing a new materials program that will offer some of its 3D printing polymer resins via bulk packaging, which will enable a 40 percent price reduction for high-volume manufacturers. The first material to be offered via bulk packaging will be RPU (rigid polyurethane) 70, which Carbon will initially sell for $150/liter, down from the current $250/liter. Working with its network of global supply chain partners and integrating novel approaches for dispensing and distributing resins to a fleet of printers, Carbon expects to further reduce the price to less than $100/liter over the next year, significantly increasing the addressable market for 3D manufactured parts.
“This production volume materials approach will allow us to ensure that our partners like adidas, which will be printing thousands or millions of parts, can do so economically compared to other manufacturing methods such as injection molding,” said Carbon CEO and Co-founder Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone. “No other 3D printing company has offered this because they do not have the combination of a complete system for 3D manufacturing combined with first class materials that enable additive manufacturing at scale. Carbon now does offer that complete package.”
Key to the introduction of bulk packaging for its dual cure resins, Carbon also is launching a resin dispensing instrument called an MMD (meter mix and dispense) developed in partnership with Henkel Adhesive Technologies, a global leader for high-impact solutions in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. This accessory to Carbon’s recently launched SpeedCell manufacturing system allows for the proper dispensing of RPU 70 in bulk quantities. Henkel’s partnership will enable Carbon’s growing global industrial supply chain as demand for these materials increases among its production partners and customers. One such production partner, The Technology House, has already implemented this new MMD device.
“We’ve been watching Carbon for some time now, and, as a chemical company, we’re impressed with its innovations in materials as well as its surge into the consumer goods industry,” said Philipp Loosen, Global Head of 3D Printing, Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “We’re delighted to work with such a promising company to develop hardware and materials solutions to bring pioneering technologies like 3D printing to traditional manufacturing and support the expansion of these capabilities to a variety of markets and applications. This is the future.”
Partners Ford and Adidas are among some of the first companies lined up to take advantage of these new product offerings, enabling them to accelerate the role of 3D printing into their traditional large-scale manufacturing process. Specifically, Adidas has committed to using Carbon materials at a scale of hundreds of thousands of liters, as it gears up to mass-produced midsoles for the Futurecraft 4D athletic footwear, launched with Carbon in April 2017.
“Ford shares Carbon’s vision of 3D manufacturing and is actively working with Carbon to accelerate the implementation for automotive applications,” said Dr Ken Washington, Vice President, Research and Advanced Engineering and Chief Technology Officer, Ford Motor Company.
To further support its growth globally, Carbon has also expanded operations into Europe teaming up with new production partners Citim, a member of the Oerlikon Group, Fast Radius and Oechsler in Germany; and, Fast Radius and Paragon in the U.K. Such global growth is yet another important milestone in Carbon’s strategy of bringing a complete system– materials, hardware, supply chain, and the right players in the industry – together to make its additive manufacturing vision a reality.
“So many of our customers have been asking for a better, more economical way to produce their parts and products, and we’ve found that with Carbon,” said Phill Adamson, managing director at Paragon. “The company’s groundbreaking Digital Light Synthesis additive manufacturing technology has been game changing for the industry because our customers can go from design to production very easily with one technology, which significantly reduces development costs and eliminates tooling requirements. Now with this materials program, it gives real scalability for higher volume batch production.”