Instead of printing objects by stacking thin layers on top of one another-a process that can take days, depending on what you’re printing-they built a device that produces a complete object from a pool of goop.
Their machine is called CLIP, which is an acronym for what it does: “Continuous liquid interface production.” It pulls a new, fully formed object out of liquid resin by shining an ultraviolet light beneath the pool.
One cross-section at a time, the light solidifies a silhouette of the object. Because traditional 3-D printers work through repetition, building layer after layer, CLIP is able to produce objects much faster. To use an analogy in traditional home printing, this leap is something like the jump from dot matrix to laser. For some projects, CLIP is 100 times faster than other 3-D printers, according to the researchers.
So far the team has constructed miniature representations of the Eiffel Tower and some bouncy balls through their company Carbon 3D. Either way, “Hasta la vista,” traditional 3-D printing.