3D Printing: Software-Controlled Chemical Reactions

July 27, 2016

3D printing has come a long way since its inception in the 1980s. Within the last several years these printers have become mainstream enough that there are personal versions available for anyone from technology nerds to fashion designers. The latter I know because they featured a 3D printer in an episode of “Project Runway,” a reality television series that focuses on fashion design. While cool, these printers haven’t revolutionized the manufacturing world.

Enter Redwood City, Calif.-based Carbon, which has upped up the 3D printing game making it possible to print polymers that were never printable before and print them much faster. Carbon uses UV-curable and heat-curable resins to make durable car parts and flexible sneaker soles among other things.

Joe DeSimone, Carbon CEO and co-founder, says it’s basically software-controlled chemical reactions that create 3D manufacturing and in some cases it beats injection molding.

This short video, from American Chemical Society's Speaking of Chemistry series, offers insight into Carbon’s 3D printing technology.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing’s senior digital editor. She limits her reality television to “Project Runway” and the cooking shows. You can email her at [email protected].