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Note: We incorrectly reported that Legacy Effects had ‘switched’ from Stratasys PolyJet printers to using the Carbon 3D Printer, when in fact it is just another tool in the company’s toolbox, and Legacy Effects uses multiple machines still, including both the Stratasys line as well as Carbon3D’s latest machine. We sincerely apologize for this error, which has since been corrected.
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Carbon3D broke onto the scene earlier this year, and surprised us all with their new CLIP, rapid 3D printing technology. Their Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology harnesses light and oxygen’s power to cure a photosensitive resin; instead of printing layer by layer, the build process is truly 3 dimensional, with oxygen turning the mechanical production technique into a fast-paced photochemical process. Not only has the CLIP process already made great waves in the 3D printing industry, but Los Angeles based special effects production company, Legacy Effects, has started using Carbon3D printers for some of its productions.

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One way to understand how game-changing Carbon3D’s unique technology is, think of the CLIP process as harnessing UV light and oxygen to “grow” (as opposed to layering) polymer parts anywhere from 25 to 100 times faster than leading 3D printing technologies. In addition to speed is the quality of the prints. Carbon3D’s claim that CLIP can produce 3D-printed objects with smoother surface and structural integrities is validated, as a major company, Legacy Effects, who had used Stratasys’ polyjet 3D printers for years, has now begun using Carbon3D’s printers, despite the machines not yet being available to the public.

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Legacy Effects formed in 2008, and they have produced special effects for Robo Cop, Pacific Rim, the Iron Man series, and Avatar — using Stratasys polyjet 3D printers. However, recently they’ve used Carbon3D printers for two projects: a Progressive Insurance commercial and the upcoming film Terminator Genisys,which will open on July 1, 2015. This came about after Legacy Effect’s Lead Systems Engineer, Jason Lopes, encountered Carbon3D printers at the Additive Manufacturers User Group (AMUG) conference. Lopes reports he was instantly attracted to the printers “because of the quality of the parts they were showing me, and the speed at which they were able to produce parts with final-part mechanical properties.”

For example, Lopes praises how well Carbon3D technology worked for the recent Progressive Insurance commercial project:

“I had the opportunity to use parts built with CLIP technology. Some parts were smaller than a pea but with intricate surface detail. The first thing I noticed was the smooth quality of the grown surface matching the geometry exactly; with no grow-lines! The parts required no body-shopping. In fact, the surface had the same characteristics of metal-mold injection plastic!”

Carbon3D’s customized service, focusing on Lopes’ industry-specific needs, such as problem-solving and customized work-flow solutions, also made Carbon3D an attractive substitute for earlier technologies used by Legacy Effects.

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Legacy Effects reports improved overall project quality, speed, superior design accuracy, a wider variety of material and color options, and a savings of time and money. Lopes describes how CLIP technology has returned the artistry to their special effects production process:

“CLIP allows us to do what we do best: focus on art. I can let my creative hands work where they deserve to be creatively. That’s huge. I’d rather use my talent in areas where they’re off exploring rather than going back and cleaning up prototypes.”

Now Lopes claims he is able to tackle some of his more ambitious creative projects, since Carbon3D’s CLIP technology has opened new avenues up to him and the team at Legacy Effects.

We will no doubt be seeing more from Legacy Effects, as it expands its applications of Carbon3D’s CLIP technology in the special effects arena. Let’s hear your thoughts on this story in the Legacy Effects / Carbon3D forum thread on 3DPB.com. You can see the Progressive Insurance commercial that Legacy Effects collaborated on using Carbon3D printing below:

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