Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Carbon’s Kodak Moment: Partnership Will Develop New Materials for CLIP 3D Printing Technology

ST Medical Devices

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kodak-logo-largeI took several photography classes in high school and college, and I graduated just before digital photography took over completely, making darkrooms mostly a thing of the past. Although I love what can be done with digital cameras, I still miss the art of traditional photography. There was something very peaceful about the darkroom; it felt almost like another world. I loved the process of beaming images made of light onto the photosensitive paper, then watching the images gradually reveal themselves within the chemicals and water. It’s an art form that I will always miss.

The phasing out of film photography had to fill many companies with dread, but most of them have adapted well, moving into the sales of digital products after doing business in film and manual cameras for years. Some of the oldest camera companies, like Polaroid, have even entered the 3D printing market recently. Now Kodak, whose name has always been associated with film, is getting on board with the newest and arguably most exciting 3D printing technology that currently exists.

carbon logoCarbon3D (now Carbon) unveiled their CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production)  3D printing process a year ago, and everyone was floored. Not only is CLIP up to 100 times faster than everything else on the market, but it’s completely different than anything we’d seen in 3D printing so far, with its oxygen and light-based technology that eliminates the need for layering and enables parts to be printed as a single unit. CLIP technology is beginning to inch its way into the 3D printing mainstream, with several major companies picking it up recently. Today, Kodak announced that they will be using their chemical expertise to help Carbon develop new materials for the advancement of CLIP printing.

carbon3D“We are excited to have Kodak as a partner as we continue to bring our technology to an array of industries including automotive, aerospace, athletic shoes and life sciences,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-Founder of Carbon. “This collaboration further proves our dedication to the development of breakthrough additive materials.”

What those materials might look like remain to be seen, but CLIP is so different from any other 3D printing process that it won’t be surprising if it brings entirely new materials into the light as well. The process currently uses photosensitive resin, but there’s a lot you can do with resin materials, particularly when you’re not limited by the constraints of traditional additive manufacturing. It’ll be interesting to see what these companies – one a brand new, cutting edge upstart and the other a more-than-a-century-old corporation with a long history of chemical and technological expertise – will create together.

“Together, Carbon and Kodak are well positioned to develop and expand market opportunities for CLIP-based additive manufacturing,” said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “Kodak is a world leader in materials development and we are excited to be working with an innovative and progressive company like Carbon.”

How do you see this technology changing the marketplace? Discuss in the CLIP 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.

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