Note from Editors:
##carbon3d claims their #technology called Continuous Liquid Interface Production, or CLIP, will be 10 to 100 times quicker that traditional 3-D printing process. This motivated #investors to fund $100 million into its Series C round.
by Aaron Tilley
Carbon3D is developing 3-D printing technology that creates objects that emerge from puddles of resin. It looks like the T-1000 robot in Terminator 2 arising from its formless metallic blob. The Redwood City, Calif.-based #startup calls its technology ”Continuous Liquid Interface Production,” or CLIP. The company claims it will be 10 to 100 times faster than the traditional 3-D printing process.
The technology is getting investors excited enough to pump $100 million into Carbon3D’s Series C round, the company announced on Thursday. And the company’s latest round brings its valuation to $1 billion, according to filings reviewed by research firm PitchBook. Carbon3D declined to comment on its valuation.
The round was led by Google GOOGL -5.43% Ventures and brings on new investors Reinet Investments S.C.A. and billionaire Yuri Milner, known for his early investments in Facebook FB -4.65% and Twitter TWTR -4.00%. All of Carbon3D’s existing investors participated – Sequoia Capital, Silver Lake Kraftwerk and Northgate Capital.
Carbon3D’s total funding now stands at $141 million.
Carbon3D’s machine creates objects using light and oxygen. A puddle of resin sits in a tray, and underneath that puddle is a clear window that lets in light and oxygen, similar to how the material for contact lens is permeable enough to let in oxygen. The two work as opposites — light converts the liquid to a solid, and the oxygen inhibits that process. While carefully controlling the light and oxygen, an object starts to arise from the puddle.
The resin can be tailored for the type of characteristics a user wants the object to exhibit. The resin can be a type of plastic that can withstand extreme heat for engines, for example, or a type of plastic that’s more scratch resistant.
3-D printing as it’s been done so far is about printing an object layer by layer. That’s slow and the quality of the final part can be inconsistent.
“3-D printing up to this point has been dominated by mechanical engineers. It’s basically been a 2D process over and over again,” said Carbon3D CEO and cofounder Joseph DeSimone, who was a chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina for 25 years before starting Carbon3D. “Chemists like to think about growing crystals. There’s some analogy in that to what we’re doing – we can grow parts that have any kind of property.”
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