Watch this complex object get 3D printed in less than 15 minutes. Sean and Norm visit Carbon, the makers of the M1 3D printer, to get a demo of this new super fast 3D printing technology working in real-time. We chat with Carbon’s VP of Product, Kirk Phelps, to learn how the CLIP 3D printing tech works, and why it’s more than just about really fast prints.
With over 100 million cubic meters used each year, steel-reinforced concrete is the most important construction material in Germany – for now. There’s a modern alternative on the horizon: Instead of steel, reinforcement is provided by carbon fibers, which are four times lighter than steel, offer six times the load capacity and don’t rust.
C3 (Carbon Concrete Composite) is the name of the carbon fiber-reinforced concrete project which is now slowly moving out of its infancy. It is the biggest construction research project in Germany and has received government funding of around 45 million euros. The project team includes specialists from our TechCenter Carbon Composites. Christoph Klotzbach, head of the TechCenter, says: “Initial applications show we’re on the right track.”
How can something that starts out like cloth end up being so strong and light?
Carbon fiber is properly described as a “composite material,” a term that is used to describe any substance with multiple components that combine in interesting ways to produce a material with complex, desirable properties. Most of our time on the GE campus was spent in the center’s composite manufacturing lab, and we were surrounded by tons of different composite materials, from glass to metals—but carbon fiber was the thing we focused on.
Carbon fiber’s standout properties, and the reason that you see it showing up in body panels of cars and in jet turbines, is that as a finished material it can be made both much stronger and much lighter than equivalently sized metal parts. “Stronger” here refers to a multitude of different measurement. For example, as explained here, carbon fiber has a tensile strength (that is, it resists being stretched) roughly four times greater than steel and eight times greater than aluminum. It is also stiffer (it resists bending) than steel or aluminum by a significant amount. These gains in strength are accompanied by a drastic reduction in weight: typically, a carbon fiber part weighs only a third as much as a steel part of the same volume.
the eames fiberglass shell armchair of the late 1950s went through a number of changes in term of its form and thickness, in order that its supporting strength was increased. however, the final model of the shell was almost ¾ of an inch thick, making it impractical and difficult to move. at that point, it was abandoned, and only one upholstered model was ever completed. extensively researching the historical and theoretical relationships between furniture and architecture at the henry ford museum, cranbrook academy of art and MoMA archives, matthew strong offers a design that re-imagines the original eames prototype through a combination of modern materials and traditional craft techniques.
What we think of as 3D printing, says Joseph DeSimone, is really just 2D printing over and over … slowly. Onstage at TED2015, he unveils a bold new technique — inspired, yes, by Terminator 2 — that’s 25 to 100 times faster, and creates smooth, strong parts. Could it finally help to fulfill the tremendous promise of 3D printing?