Exner Lectures 2019: Joseph DeSimone
Bringing the Digital Revolution to Polymer Manufacturing
Although digital technologies shape our modern world, the production of polymer products relies largely on longstanding molding techniques. Polymers were first used in injection molding 150 years ago. Since then, the basic approach to manufacturing polymer products at scale has not fundamentally changed. Despite the ascent of 3D printing technologies since the 1980s, additive methods have not delivered a meaningful alternative. Carbon’s technology—Digital Light SynthesisTM (DLS)—changes this. DLS joins advances in software, hardware, and material science to produce commercial quality parts rapidly and at scale. DLS capitalizes on the principle of oxygen-inhibited photopolymerization to generate a continual liquid interface of uncured resin between a forming part and a printer’s exposure window. This allows layerless parts to ‘grow’ continuously from a pool of resin, formed by light. Compatible with a wide range of polymers, DLS brings the digital revolution to polymer manufacturing, opening major opportunities for the future of production across diverse industries. Previously unmakeable products are already being manufactured at scale with DLS, including midsoles for the adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes, mass-customized dental products, next-generation helmets for American football, parts on Ford production vehicles, and numerous products in the consumer electronics, aerospace, and medical industries. DLS also creates valuable opportunities for product light-weighting and de-materialization, accelerated product design cycles, and local-for-local manufacturing.
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?
Listen to one of his impressive lectures right now.