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Fast 3D Printing of Robot Parts

Fast 3D Printing of Robot Parts

Remember the T-1000 from the Terminator 2 movie and how it emerges from its “liquid metal”? At the TED 2015 event, Joseph DeSimone showcased CLIP a 3D printer that does exactly that.

The process behind the CLIP allows making objects with different mechanical properties (e.g. elasticity). Besides, it eliminates layers that characterize traditional 3D printing. As a result, constructed objects are monolithic, their surface are smooth and their mechanical properties are the same in all directions.

Last but not least, this new 3D printing process is at least 25 times faster. DeSimone demoed it on stage by making in about 7 min a complex object that would take between 3 and 10 hours on what we should now call old-fashioned 3D printers. He even states that they can make it up to 1000 times faster! Simply incredible! We’ll be able to print robot parts on demand, and even make robots that print new parts on the field to better perform some task at hand.

The talk (see Video 1 below) is definitely worth watching. If you want to see the CLIP printer in action, Video 2 is for you. It shows the full printing process (skx7 speed).

A startup named Carbon3D is behind this revolutionary additive manufacturing process. Their website gives many technical details about their process. But, neither the release date nor the price tag are announced yet.

While waiting for the CLIP, you have to stick with one of filament-based 3D printers already available on the market. If you have a tight budget, you can get for $350 the Printrbot Simple Kit to assemble yourself. However, the best one for hobbyists is the Ultimaker 2 that costs $2500.


Video 1: CLIP 3D Printer Presentation at TED 2015

Video 2: CLIP Printing a Complex Object

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