The cost of 3D printing materials is viewed as one of the inhibitors to wider adoption and usage of additive manufacturing. Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based 3D manufacturing company, is introducing an approach that CEO and Co-founder Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone says will lower the price of some of its 3D printing materials bought in bulk quantities. The price drop is expected to be 40% for high-volume manufacturers.
The first material to be offered in bulk packaging will be RPU (rigid polyurethane) 70, which Carbon will initially sell for $150/liter, down from the current $250/liter.
Working with its network of global supply chain partners and integrating novel approaches for dispensing and distributing resins to a fleet of printers, Carbon expects to further reduce the price to less than $100/liter over the next year.
“This production volume materials approach will allow us to ensure that our partners like adidas, which will be printing thousands or millions of parts, can do so economically compared to other manufacturing methods such as injection molding,” said DeSimone. “No other 3D printing company has offered this because they do not have the combination of a complete system for 3D manufacturing combined with first class materials that enable additive manufacturing at scale.”
Key to the introduction of bulk packaging for its dual cure resins, Carbon also is launching a resin dispensing instrument called an MMD (meter mix and dispense) developed in partnership with Henkel Adhesive Technologies, a global leader for high-impact solutions in adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. This accessory to Carbon’s recently launched SpeedCell manufacturing system allows for the proper dispensing of RPU 70 in bulk quantities. Henkel’s partnership will enable Carbon’s growing global industrial supply chain as demand for these materials increases among its production partners and customers. One such production partner, The Technology House, has already implemented this new MMD device.
Partners Ford and adidas are among some of the first companies lined up to take advantage of these new production offerings, enabling them to accelerate the role of 3D printing into their traditional large scale manufacturing process. Specifically, adidas has committed to using Carbon materials at a scale of hundreds of thousands of liters, as it gears up to mass produce midsoles for the Futurecraft 4D athletic footwear, launched with Carbon in April 2017.
To further support its growth globally, Carbon has also expanded operations into Europe teaming up with new production partners Citim, a member of the Oerlikon Group, and Oechsler in Germany; and, Fast Radius and Paragon in the U.K. Such global growth is yet another important milestone in Carbon’s strategy of bringing a complete system– materials, hardware, supply chain, and the right players in the industry – together to make its additive manufacturing vision a reality.
Carbon will be at the TCT Show in Birmingham, UK on September 26-28 to discuss these developments.