This Next Generation 3D Printer Uses Light, Builds Objects In Just Minutes

Today’s 3D printers are by nature incredibly slow. It takes a long time to do any printing. But researchers have developed a new 3D printer that replaces the extruder nozzle that squeezes out melted plastic one layer at a time with light and oxygen.

They call it the Carbon3D Printer and have demonstrated a technique with it that they call continuous liquid interface production, which grows 3D printed parts out of a liquid resin bath. Light and oxygen are employed to build a stronger part in layers. Build times are reduced from hours to minutes.

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Their 3D printing development relies on a process called stereolithography, which is an additive manufacturing technique that was developed in the 1980’s, that builds parts layer by layer with liquid resin that is subsequently cured by light.