10 Fastest Growing Robotics Companies 2019

The Factory of the Future: Carbon


The company is known to introduce the Carbon SpeedCell, a system of connected manufacturing unit operations that enables repeatable production of end-use parts at any scale. The M Series printers and the automated Smart Part Washer are the first in a series of modular offerings that allow a wide range of industries to design, engineer, make, and deliver end-use parts with one common manufacturing workflow. Carbon works at the intersection of hardware, software, and molecular science. Its vision is a future fabricated with light, where traceable, final-quality parts are produced at scale with CLIP technology. CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) makes this vision possible by combining engineering­-grade materials with exceptional resolution and surface finish. Whether clients are iterating on advanced product designs or producing parts at scale, they can configure a SpeedCell system that is right for their business. Printing and part washing are the first in a growing suite of automated, data-rich SpeedCell unit operations.

The Process

Despite industry advances, traditional approaches to additive manufacturing force trade-offs between surface finish and mechanical properties. In contrast, Digital Light Synthesis technology, enabled by Carbon’s proprietary CLIP process, is a breakthrough technology that uses digital light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution, and surface finish.

Its breakthrough Digital Light Synthesis technology is driven by Carbon’s groundbreaking CLIP process and programmable liquid resins. CLIP, as reported in the most prestigious research journal, Science, uses digital light projection in combination with oxygen permeable optics. Traditional additive approaches to photopolymerization typically produce weak, brittle parts. Carbon overcomes this by embedding a second heat-activated programmable chemistry in its materials. This results in high-resolution parts with engineering-grade mechanical properties.

Materials Used By the Company

MPU (Medical Polyurethane): MPU 100 is Carbon’s first medical-grade material, designed to help medical product manufacturers accelerate product development cycles and improve the quality of their products. Similar to Carbon’s rigid polyurethane materials, MPU 100 is a two-component material that produces isotropic parts with fine features. 

The material offers a unique combination of biocompatibility, sterilizability, and durability, in addition to engineering-grade mechanical properties, abrasion resistance, and chemical resistance. Carbon has performed biocompatibility testing with documentation to support the material passing USP-VI and ISO 10993-5 and -10. Additionally, MPU 100 is sterilizable using ethylene oxide, e-beam, and gamma and maintains its biocompatibility (i.e. passes cytotoxicity testing) post-sterilization.

EPU (Elastomeric Polyurethane): EPU is its elastomeric material family. Its combination of tear strength, energy return, and elongation make it perfect for cushioning, impact absorption, vibration isolation, gaskets, and seals. Its EPU family (EPU 40 and EPU 41) is especially well-suited for producing elastomeric lattices to create foam-like product experiences.

EPU 40 is its original elastomer material. EPU 40 has a higher elongation and tear strength, but lower resilience, compared to the next generation EPU 41. 

SIL (Silicone): SIL 30 is a silicone urethane. It is the first additive material to offer a unique combination of biocompatibility, low durometer, and tear-resistance. This material opens up the ability to print customized applications for comfortable skin contact products such as headphones, wristbands, and various attachments for wearables. SIL is a specialty material available for specific production applications.

Meet the Leader

Joseph M. DeSimone, CEO, and Co-Founder: Joe co-founded Carbon in 2013. Under his direction, Carbon is marrying the intricacies of molecular science with hardware and software technologies to advance the 3D printing industry beyond basic prototyping to 3D manufacturing. Throughout his career, Joe has published over 350 scientific articles and has nearly 200 issued patents in his namewith more than an additional 200 patents pending. Joe also previously co-founded several companies including Micell Technologies, Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions, and Liquidia Technologies. He received his BS in Chemistry from Ursinus College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech.

Joe is one of fewer than 20 individuals who has been elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies: the National Academy of Medicine (2014), the National Academy of Sciences (2012) and the National Academy of Engineering (2005). During his career he has received over 50 major awards and recognitions including the 2018 National Academy of Sciences Award for Convergent Science; the 2017 $250,000 Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment; the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, awarded by President Barack Obama in 2016; the inaugural $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine; 2015 Dickson Prize from Carnegie Mellon University; 2014 Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success from the ACS; the 2010 AAAS Mentor Award in recognition of his efforts to advance diversity in the chemistry PhD workforce; the 2007 Collaboration Success Award from the Council for Chemical Research; and the 2002 Engineering Excellence Award by DuPont.

“With a Carbon subscription, your hardware is paired with industry-leading predictive service, our full suite of materials, and continually updated next-generation software.”