Autodesk today announced that its 3D printing investment fund has put $10 million into the developer of a 3D printing method said to be significantly faster than most of its competitors.
In a release, Autodesk said its $100 million Spark Investment Fund, which is aimed at “entrepreneurs, innovators, and startups who push the boundaries of 3D printing,” had invested the money in Carbon3D, a Silicon Valley startup that developed what’s known as Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP).
On its Web site, Carbon3D claims that CLIP technology is 25 to 100 times faster than traditional 3D printing methods.
Autodesk, one of the world’s largest design software companies, has been increasingly involved in the 3D printing ecosystem — including releasing its own 3D printer, the Ember, and developing a wide range of software tools that can be used to aid in the creation of digital models. It is clearly interested in Carbon3D because the startup’s technology is aimed at making 3D printing a viable production manufacturing tool. Typically, while 3D printing is invaluable for creating prototypes, it is too slow to replace traditional production methods.
On its site, Carbon3D positions itself like this:
3D printing has struggled to deliver on its promise to transform manufacturing. Prints take forever, parts are mechanically weak, and material choices are far too limited. That’s because current 3D printing technology is really just 2D printing, over and over again.
CLIP — Continuous Liquid Interface Production — is a breakthrough technology that grows parts instead of printing them layer by layer. CLIP allows businesses to produce commercial quality parts at game-changing speeds, creating a clear path to 3D manufacturing.
Carbon3D first unveiled its technology in Vancouver, Canada, at TED2015, the elite innovation and design conference. The company expects to release its first industrial machine within a year.