Understanding Carbon's DLS Technology and CLIP Process

Most 3D Printing technologies force a trade-off between surface finish and mechanical properties. In contrast, DLS (Digital Light Synthesis) technology, enabled by Carbon’s proprietary CLIP process, is a breakthrough technology that uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution, and surface finish.

The best way to understand this fascinating process is to watch this video:

 

The unique combination of technologies described in detail below allow for parts to be biult continiously, avoiding the layer-by-layer process that most Additive Manufacturing technologies use. As shown in the video, this creates a high quality photo-cured part that is still not done. The "green" parts are then placed into an oven and cured with heat, delivering the final real-world plastic properties that customers need.

What Makes the Carbon Process Special?

Three key technologies are combined in CARBON's system:

Digital Light Projection

Instead of drawing with a laser or flashing a series images onto the resin, the CARBON system uses a high precision projector to shine a continiously changing cross section. This gets away from creating individual layers of material and makes creates uniform properties in every direction with no stair-stepping on the outside surface.

The material cross section on the left of the above image shows the layering found in most Additive Manufacturing processes. The image on the right shows the uniform structure of a DLS part.

Oxygen Permeable Optics

The real "secret-sauce" in the process is the proprieatary oxygen permiable glass plate that the light projects through. It allows for Oxygen to pass up into the bottom of the paper creating an ultra-thin and uniform layer of non-curable material, called the "dead zone," between the part being built and the glass plate. This avoids the sticking or large gap found in other technologies that project light from the bottom.

Programmable Liquid Resins

The material being used is the final piece of the performance puzzle. The resins used in the system are a combination of multiple materials, and how they are mixed determins the properties of the final part. This allows Carbon to deliver a wide variety of final material properties.

The resins are also formuilated to cure in two steps. The first step is the photo-cure in the machine that precisely shapes the parts. The second step is a thermal cure that hardens and sets the material.

 

Let's Talk about how to make your Production Parts with 3D Printing

Our epxert team will assess your design, material need, and application to determine how Carbon's DLS technology can be applied to meet your production needs. Call 480.813.4884 and ask to talk about On-Demand Production or email renee@padtinc.com.

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