Thursday, March 19, 2015

3-D Printing has a New Competitor

I won't be so bold as to say that 3-D printing as we know it died on Monday [1], but it certainly took a good body blow (open access article after registration). Take a look at this video and you decide:
Pretty neat, huh?

That this is a UV-cured acrylate may not be overly surprising. By judicious choices in the monomers and photoinitiators, acrylates can cure pretty quickly. But the big question is how is the curing controlled to create such detailed topologies? 2-Photon absorption is one option, but it is a very slow process. So what is the key here?

Like any magic trick, once you know the secret, it seems pretty simple [2] and this is no different.
CLIP Process
The picture on the right shows what is happening in the liquid pool. The real secret is the yellow piece at the bottom which is Teflon AF 2400. Not only is it highly permeable to oxygen, but it is also UV transparent. With photopolymerization of acrylates, UV and O2 will take you in two different directions. The UV will cure the acrylates, while the O2 will inhibit the polymerization.

Knowing all this, it's pretty easy to connect the dots. The oxygen creates a "deadzone" just above the Teflon, while the UV creates a "livezone" just above the deadzone. By having an array of UV light sources under the Teflon with the ability to control which elements of the array are on and off, you can then control the formation of your object.

Being that this is acrylate chemistry, there are an endless number of monomers and comonomers available to make materials with a wide range of mechanical properties. You are not locked into a limited range of mechanicals, but you do need to have a system that is O2 inhibited. Throwing in some thiol-based monomers for instance, will ruin everything. Also, unlike standard 3-D printing, the use of monomers may limit the use of this technique to industrial users, at least initially. But regardless, this is some exciting new technology and I can't wait to see where it goes.

The researchers have named this process "CLIP" (Continuous Liquid Interface Processing) and have started their own company with a flashy website if you want more details or want to see more cool videos.

Since this post transitioned to the business side, I was curious at to what this announcement did to the stock price of existing 3-D printing companies, such as Stratasys or 3-D Systems. Apparently nothing. On Monday, Stratasys opened at $57.77 and is now at $58.34 having been as high as $60.49 late yesterday. 3-D Systems is behaving the same way. That is not what I would have expected, but picking stocks has never been my strength [3].

Update: I forgot entirely to mention that @Chemjobber pointed this article out to me. Mea culpa

[1] After all, Gutenberg's movable letterpress printing method is still being used 576 years later.

[2] For some people, knowing the secret to a magic trick ruins it. Not for me.

[3] Don't ask me to pick NCAA Basketball brackets either.

Previous Years

March 19, 2014 - "Openness in Science"

March 19, 2012 - Plastics Recycling Conference

March 19, 2010 - Another Use for FTIR in the Medical Lab

March 19, 2009 - Nitrogen Enriched Gasoline???


tim mark said...

This charge is generally very little and frequently extends between five pennies and ten pennies for every duplicate. cheapest color copies prints

historypak said...

I havent any word to welcome this post.....Really i am inspired from this post....the individual who make this post it was an extraordinary human..thanks for imparted this to us.

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.
Vehicle Signs Telford

GAMING said...

Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. bed liner springfield

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. cheap post card printing

George said...

I am typically to blogging and that i really appreciate your site content. This great article has really peaks my interest. My goal is to bookmark your site and maintain checking for brand spanking new data. Imprentas en Cancun

Unknown said...

Samsung laser printers have always been appreciated for their looks, performance oriented features, and reasonably good durability Letter Printing Direct Mail Service

charlos john said...

Hey, this day is too much good for me, since this time I am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. Thanks a lot for massive hard work. jobs for DevOps Engineers

Angelica Rose said...

Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject! Letter Printing

fortnite said...

Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable. thanks a lot. industrial aluminum work platform

fortnite said...

I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google. roller brushes

Eliza Beth said...

promotional products Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information..

brittanymlemay said...

Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post. Print In London

shane lee said...

The leading refractory uses of ceramic include as an important component of a furnace as a lining in between layers of other refractory materials, and as an excellent fire repellent for delicate parts of the furnace. construction

harryjack said...

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative for my website print shop east london

Rajan Mhatre said...

It’s a great joy in surfing through your article. It’s nice and great work; Keep it up to more updates. Thank you so much for sharing. Visit metal crete

Marble Supplier Dubai said...

Your articles showcase a depth of understanding and expertise that sets them apart. Thank you for being a go-to resource for enthusiasts in various fields.

omani beige marble in Fujairah