C-CAT is a 3D printer technology tipped to be up to 400 times faster than other digital light processing (DLP) techniques currently on the market. First teased at Euromold 2015, Carima, the South Korean manufacturer behind C-CAT, has revealed that the technology has received certification from the government, and is pending funding to enter mass production.
C-CAT DLP 3D printing at 5 x speed. Numbers on timer reflect hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds. Clip via 캐리마 on YouTube
400 times faster than other DLP
Carima says C-CAT technology is capable of 3D printing objects at a rate of 60 cm per hour, compared to the typical 2 – 3 cm per hour in other DLP machines. This rate of production is 30% faster than Carbon’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology that entered the commercial market April 2016.
In an interview with 3D Printing Industry, Joe DeSimone, Carbon founder and CEO explained that the company is able to 3D print at, “over 2500 millimeters an hour.”
Speed is of course not everything, and while the 3D printers may be capable of such production rates these are not necessarily the optimum settings for regular use.
As an iconic and geometrically complex object, models of France’s Eiffel Tower have become something of a benchmark for DLP performance. As such, a 93.97mm x 51.60mm x 120.39mm replica of the landmark has been 3D printed using C-CAT and achieved Korea Testing Certification for size and speed.
Of course, part of the reason the Eiffel tower model can be 3D printed at such speed is the minimal surface area of each layer and the resulting decrease in suction forces that a model with greater area would present. The true test comes with using the 3D printer in the desired end use application.
The South Korean government has also given the technique its seal approval with “New Excellent Technology” (NET) certification.
According to Korea IT News, Carima has filed two patents for the C-CAT technology titled ‘serial stacking 3D forming method and device’ and ‘photo-curing 3D forming method and photo-curing 3D forming device’. Speaking to the news site, Carima CEO Lee Byung-geuk says,
DLP method has limitations depending on diversity, compatibility, accuracy, and size of materials. However our technology is an optimized technology as we have developed products, materials, and software all together.
Byung-geuk also revealed Carima’s plans for the next move saying, “We are planning to prepare mass-production system as we secure sources of funding” citing that “Carbon 3D received investments worth $156 million with its technology.”
Commercial introduction of Carima C-CAT technology was initially rumoured for release in the final quarter of 2016. When available, C-CAT technology will be live inside Carima’s forthcoming Imp 3D printer, and introduced into the company’s existing DP110E machines.
Featured image: A 10cm tall Eiffel Tower 3D printed using Carima C-CAT technology. Photo via Carima.