Scaled up 3D printing

US-based company Carbon has partnered with polymer company Covestro to scale up its 3D printing production technology.

The technology, called Digital Light Synthesis (DLS), can reportedly accelerate the 3D printed production of parts up to a hundredfold compared to previous processes. Carbon has developed a newpolyurethane liquid resin suitable for production parts.

Covestro says that it has invested to enable production in commercial quantity, making mass production of the 3D printing process more viable.

DLS, which is similar to stereolithography, incorporates a vat of liquid plastic resin that is cured by means of UV radiation. Oxygen is supplied from below to counteract the curing, thus creating a liquid dead zone. For this purpose, the bottom of the vessel is made of a light and air-permeable membrane, similar to a contact lens. Due to this dead zone, the printed part can be pulled continously upward without the formation of individual layers.

‘Our biggest challenge in the upscaling of additive manufacturing until series production lies in the supply of suitable materials in the required quality and quantity,’ said Patrick Rosso, global head of additive manufacturing at Covestro.

Covestro says that it is currently researching materials to increase the potential range of industrial applications.

This story uses material from Covestro, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.